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Paris Air Show 2023: Rafael launches new air-to-air missile

Rafael unveiled its Sky Spear missile (bottom) at the Paris Air Show 2023, describing it as a sixth-generation long-range air-to-air missile. (Janes/Olivia Savage)

Rafael unveiled its Sky Spear ‘sixth-generation' air-to-air missile at the Paris Air Show 2023, held from 19 to 25 June.

Speaking to Janes, Yaniv Rotem, business development director for Rafael's air-defence systems and air-to-air directorate, said that the missile has very long-range interception capabilities and a new sophisticated radio frequency (RF) seeker that can handle airborne and ground-based jamming.

The Sky Spear is suited for both long-range and short-range engagements because of its high manoeuvrability and this reduces the number of missile types required for the aircraft, Rotem said.

The missile is in the “pre-full-scale development (FSD) phase” and is currently at a low technology readiness level (TRL). The company is therefore searching for a governmental partner to progress its development, Rotem added.

According to Rafael, the Sky Spear can be adapted to fit on any aircraft, including the F-35, and is powered by a three-pulse rocket motor that enables the missile to manage its kinetic energy in an optimal way. It also has a dual datalink that enables the two-way transfer of data between the missile and pilot, Rotem said.

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