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Aspide Mk1/Mk2

The Italian Aspide, basically a licensed version of the American Sparrow, is similarly employed as both an air-to-air and surface-to-air missile, and in the later role it is launched from both ships and ground platforms. The AIM-7E Sparrow entered service in 1962 and was widely used as a standard for other variants such as the Sky Flash (UK) and Aspide (Italy). Alenia Difesa offers a complete range of systems, including the air to air and surface to air systems based on Aspide missile (Spada, Skyguard, Albatros, ARAMIS).

The Chinese PL-11 medium-range AAM is based on the Aspide, which was acquired by China in the late 1980s for use in the air-to-air roles, and as with the American and Italian version, subsequently in the LY-60 system modified for both ground and naval air defence applications. In reaction to the Tiananmen Square massacre, the European Council--an EU decision-making body comprised of ministers from EU member countries--imposed several sanctions in June 1989, including "an embargo on trade in arms with China." The deliveries of Italian Aspide air-to-air missiles appear to have been made in connection with pre-embargo agreements. Although a contract for the Aspide system has been signed with Italian firm Alinea, the government in Rome had not given its permission to export the missiles to Cyprus, fearing the deployment would only fuel existing tensions.

Through Alenia Difesa, Finmeccanica offers a complete range of systems, including the surface to air systems based on the Aspide missile (Spada, Skyguard, Albatros, ARAMIS);


Manafacturer Selenia
Date Deployed 1987
Range 75 km
Ceiling/b> 8000 m above the launch point
Speed Mach 4 / 4680 km/h
Propulsion One SNIA-Viscosa solid-propellant rocket motor
Guidance Selenia monopulse semi-active radar homing
Warhead 72.75 lb ( 33 kg ) SNIA Difesa e Spazio blast/fragmentation
: doppler proximity- and direct action-fuzed
Launch Weight 485 lb ( 220 kg ) 230 kg
Length 12 ft, 1.67 in ( 3.70 m )  3.65 m
Diameter 8 in ( 203 mm ) 210 mm
Fin Span 3 ft, 3.4 in ( 1.00 m ) same

Specifications - Skyguard SAM

Capacity discovery radar 20 Km
N. fire channels 2
N. ready missiles to the launch 12
Time reaction arranges 11 sec
The maximum capacity 10 Km
Minimal capacity 750 m
The maximum quota 3.5 Km approximately
Guidance system homing semiactive
Weight of the missile 220 Kg approximately
maximum speed of the missile 650 m/sec
Single-shot hit probability (SSKP) 80%

Sources and Methods

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Updated Tuesday, August 10, 1999 6:31:55 PM