Air-Launched Weapons

UK retires ALARM missile

21 January 2014
A Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR.4 strike aircraft carrying two ALARM missiles on underwing hardpoints. (Jamie Hunter)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the final retirement of the Air-Launched Anti-Radiation Missile (ALARM), a move which leaves the Royal Air Force (RAF) without a dedicated defence suppression weapon.

Developed by what was British Aerospace Dynamics - later subsumed into MBDA - ALARM was developed under Air Staff Requirement 1228 to provide RAF Tornados with a defence suppression capability. Completing development trials in October 1990, the missile made its operational debut in the 1991 Gulf War, with more than 120 missiles fired as part of Operation 'Granby'.

ALARM was subsequently used in support of NATO's Operation 'Allied Force' over Serbia and Kosovo in 1999.

An ALARM seeker mid-life update, introduced to meet Staff Requirement (Air) 1247, saw an improved anti-radiation homing seeker enter service in the early 2000s. This version of ALARM was employed by Tornado GR.4 aircraft during Operation 'Telic' in 2003.

In a statement to IHS Jane's , the MoD confirmed that "the ALARM missile, used for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defences [SEAD], was retired from service at the end of December 2013".

It added: "UK armed forces have a range of capabilities that can be used to counter enemy air defence, including kinetic strikes via long-range cruise missiles, such as Tomahawk and Storm Shadow, and a multitude of highly effective precision air-to-ground weapons.

"Additionally, it is likely that we will work with our international partners on future major operations overseas and will therefore manage all of our capabilities as part of that coalition."



(250 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Air-to-Air Mistral (ATAM)

    Type Infra-red guided air-to-air missile. Development The French Mistral 1 short-range surface-to-air missile started development at Matra around 1974 and has gone on to become a multipurpose multi-platform weapon. It was primarily intended to be a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) weapon

  • FAB bombs (early model)

    Type General purpose bomb. Development Dozens of different types of free-fall aerial bombs were developed in the Soviet Union after World War II and even though those bombs remained unchanged for many years from a baseline of wartime bomb designs, they continued to be produced and updated. The

  • FAB bombs (M-62 series)

    Type Demolition bomb. Development Russia's M-62 (1962) series of general purpose bombs was fielded in the early 1960s becoming the standard low-drag high-explosive freefall bomb design for the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact and allied nations. As with all previous designs, the bombs are designated FAB

  • FAB-100 (M80), FAB-250 (M79) and FAB-500 general purpose bombs

    Type General purpose bomb. Development A range of general purpose and fragmentation bombs (both free-fall and retarded) was developed by local industry for the former Yugoslav Air Force. Stocks of these weapons remain in the former Yugoslavia and a production capability still exists in Serbia.

  • ODAB-500PM, ODAB-500PMV fuel-air explosive bomb

    Type Incendiary bomb. Development The ODAB-500PM and ODAB-500PMV fuel-air explosive bombs were developed to provide the Russian Air Force with a high-speed low-level attack weapon for use against troops and material in the field, minefield clearance, parked aircraft and other exposed soft

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT