IAI Reveals New Air-to-Ground Missile

The SkySniper is a new air-to-ground precision strike missile, aimed to destroy radar stations

 

SkySniper

According to defense-update website, IAI reveals a new air-to-ground missile against radar targets named SkySniper. The missile is equipped with a rocket motor and can reach high speed. It is designed to penetrate hard targets (probably fortifications of radar stations).

The SkySniper uses GPS/INS guidance to achieve pinpoint targeting under all weather conditions. IAI designed the SkySniper for a maximum loadout of four missiles per aircraft, Potential carriers include both western and eastern platforms such as Boeing F-15 and F/A-18,Lockheed Martin F-16, UAC MiG-29, Su-30 and IAI Kfir.

According to the product brochure on the company website (source), the missile is fired out of range of the enemy's air defense systems, in order not to endanger the pilots. Although the actual range of the missile was not specified, modern anti-aircraft systems such as the S-300 operate in an intercepting range of 150 kilometers. The S-400 is a different case, since it depends on the interceptor itself. The 48N6E3 is effective in a range of 240 km. However, the newer 40N6 interceptor, supposedly reaches a range of 400 km (details are quite under wraps).

Will the SkySniper reach 400 km? Hard to believe. According to an analysis conducted by the Defence.pk website, the weight of the missile must be about 900 kg (the carrying capacity of each of the F-16's four suspenders). According to the analysis, the missile will include a warhead weighing about 400 kg. It will reach a speed of about 3.5 Mach and its range will be up to 250 kilometers. This means that in a distance of 250 km, it will take four minutes for it to reach its target. Again, these are only estimates and not publications of the manufacturer (the official publication has no reference whatsoever to technical data).

In a video published by the company (which, In the meanwhile, was already removed from You Tube), it can be seen clearly that the missile soars after launch and gets in an almost vertical attack angle toward the radar station. Action reminiscent of another IAI product – the Harpy (loitering ammunition against radar stations). Only in this case, it seems that IAI used the operational experience and put it into air-to-ground missile, launched from a fighter jet.

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