AGM-45 Shrike

AGM-45 Shrike is an American anti-radiation missile designed to home in on hostile anti-aircraft radar. The Shrike was developed by the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake in 1963 by mating a seeker head to the rocket body of an AIM-7 Sparrow. It was phased out by U.S. in 1992[1] and at an unknown time by the Israeli Air Force (the only other major user), and has been superseded by the AGM-88 HARM missile. The Israel Defense Forces developed a version of the Shrike that could be ground-launched with a booster rocket, and mounted it on an M4 Sherman chassis as the Kilshon (Hebrew for Trident).[1][5]

AGM-45 Shrike
AGM-45 Shrike on cart
AGM-45 Shrike
TypeAir-to-surface anti-radiation missile
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1965–1992
WarsVietnam War,[1]
Yom Kippur War,[2]
Iran–Iraq War
Falklands War
Operation El Dorado Canyon
Gulf War
Production history
Mass390 pounds (177.06 kg)
Length10 feet (3.05 m)
Diameter8 inches (203 mm)
Warhead67.5 kg (149 lb) MK 5 MOD 1 (or MK 86 MOD 1) blast-fragmentation, or 66.6 kg (147 lb) WAU-9/B blast-fragmentation

Wingspan3 feet (914 mm)
16 km AGM-45A,[3] 40km AGM-45B[4][3]
SpeedMach 1.5
Passive radar homing
A-4 Skyhawk, A-6 Intruder, F-105 Thunderchief, F-4 Phantom II, Avro Vulcan (not regular service)


A4 fires shrike
A-4 Skyhawk launching an AGM-45 Shrike.

The Shrike was first employed during the Vietnam War by the Navy in 1965 using A-4 aircraft. The Air Force adopted the weapon the following year using F-105F and G Thunderchief Wild Weasel SEAD aircraft, and later the F-4 Phantom II in the same role. The range was nominally shorter than the SA-2 Guideline missiles that the system was used against, although it was a great improvement over the early method of attacking SAM sites with rockets and bombs from F-100F Super Sabres. A Shrike was typically lofted about 30 degrees above the horizon at a Fan Song radar some 15 miles (25 km) away for a flight time of 50 seconds. Tactics changed incrementally over the campaigns of 1966 and 1967 until the advent of the AGM-78 Standard ARM. That new weapon allowed launches from significantly longer range with a much easier attack profile, as the Standard could be launched up to 180 degrees off target and still expect a hit and its speed allowed it to travel faster than the SA-2. Even after the Standard missile entered service, the Weasels still carried the Shrike because the Standard cost about $200,000, while a Shrike cost only $7,000. If USAF pilots expended an Standard they would have to fill out a lengthy form during debriefing. A somewhat standard load for the F-105G was a 650 US gal (2,500 l) centerline fuel tank, two Standards on inboard pylons and two Shrikes on the outboard pylons. The mix varied slightly for jamming pods and the occasional AIM-9 Sidewinder but this was the baseline.

Shrike was involved in a friendly fire incident during an airstrike on Haiphong on 15 April 1972. Two missiles struck USS Worden (CG-18) killing one crewman and injuring nine more. An American pilot apparently interpreted the PIRAZ cruiser's AN/SPG-55 radar as a North Vietnamese SAM site. Worden required ten days shipyard work at the Subic Bay Naval Base to repair the damage.[6]

Although the Shrike missile did not enter regular service with the United Kingdom, it was supplied to the RAF for use in the Falklands War of 1982. RAF Shrikes were fitted to modified Vulcan bombers in order to attack Argentine radar installations during Operation Black Buck. The main target was a Westinghouse AN/TPS-43 long range 3D radar that the Argentine Air Force deployed during April to guard Falklands' airspace. The Argentine operators were aware of the anti-radiation missiles and would simply turn it off during the Vulcan's approaches. This radar remained intact during the whole conflict. However, air defences remained operational during the attacks and the Shrikes hit two of the less valuable and rapidly replaced secondary fire control radars. Also, following a Vulcan making an emergency landing at Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian authorities confiscated one Shrike which was not returned.[7]

About 95 AGM-45s were used in 1991 during Desert Storm against Iraqi air defense, mostly by F-4Gs.[8]


The Shrike's limitations are characterized primarily in the fact that subvariants abound, each tuned to a different radar band. Angle gating, used to prioritize targets, was included in every subvariant of the AGM-45A and B after the A-2 and B-2. It was also slow and the lack of punch in the warhead made it difficult for bomb damage assessment, as well as inflicting any damage to the Fan Song Radar vans beyond a shattered radar dish, an easy item to replace or repair. The short range, combined with its lack of speed (compared to the SA-2 SAM) made for a difficult attack. The missile had to be well within the range of the SAM radar and if a SAM was fired the SAM would get to the aircraft first. Also the missile had few tolerances and had to be launched no more than + or − 3 degrees from the target. Many pilots in Vietnam did not like the Shrike because of its limitations and its success rate of around 25%.

The differences between the AGM-45A and B are in the rocket motor used, and in the warheads capable of being fitted. The AGM-45A used the Rocketdyne Mk 39 Mod 0 (or apparently in some cases the Aerojet Mk 53 Mod 1) motor, while the AGM-45B used Aerojet Mk 78 Mod 0 which greatly increased the range of the missile. As for warheads, the Mk 5 Mod 0, Mk 86 Mod 0, and WAU-8/B could all be fitted to the AGM-45A and were all blast-fragmentation in nature. The AGM-45B made use of the improved Mk 5 Mod 1 and Mk 86 Mod 1 warheads, as well as, the WAU-9/B, again all blast-fragmentation in type.

The following table provides information on what radar bands were associated with certain guidance sections, and the subvariant designation.

AGM-45 Shrike detonation
A Shrike hitting a simulated target.
Designation Guidance Section Targeted Bands Primary Targets
AGM-45A-1 Mk 23 Mod 0 E/F Band FIRE CAN, FAN SONG[9]


Mk 22 Mod 0/1/2 G Band FAN SONG[10]


Mk 24 Mod 0/1/34 Broad E/F Band BAR LOCK, FAN SONG[11]


Mk 24 Mod 2/5 Narrow E/F Band BAR LOCK, FAN SONG[12]


Mk 24 Mod 3 E/F Band BAR LOCK, FAN SONG[13]


Mk 25 Mod 0/1 G Band FAN SONG[14]


Mk 36 Mod 1 I Band LOW BLOW[15]


Mk 37 Mod 0 E/F Band FLAT FACE[16]




Mk 49 Mod 1 I Band, "G bias"


Mk 50 Mod 0 E Band to I Band Various[18]

The -5 (targeted at FAN SONG and HEAD LIGHTS) and -8 (targeted at SPOON REST and TALL KING) weapons never left development.[19]


See also


  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2011-11-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Spencer Tucker, The encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli conflict: a political, social, and military history. A - F, Volume 1, 2008, ABC-CLIO, p. 685
  3. ^ a b "AGM-45 Shrike -". Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  4. ^ "AGM-45 "Shrike" Anti-Radiation Missile". Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Kilshon". Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Worden (DLG-18) IV". Naval History and Heritage Command. United States Navy. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-12-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Cliff Lawson. The Station Comes Of Age. Naval Air Warfare Center (U.S.). Weapons Division, 2017. ISBN 9780160939709.
  10. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  11. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  12. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  13. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  14. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  15. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  16. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  17. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  18. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  19. ^ Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake Museum
  20. ^ "AGM-45 Shrike". Retrieved 2018-05-24.

External links


The AGM-63 was a missile design produced by the United States. It was conceived in March 1962 when the U.S. Navy issued two requirements for long-range Anti-Radiation Missiles (ARMs) to complement the short-range AGM-45 Shrike. The first was to operate over ranges of up to 50 nm (90 km), while the second would be capable of operating out to 100 nm (180 km). Development of the ARM I was approved in 1963; the missile was given the designation ZAGM-63A. However no funds were made available as other ARM programs such as the improved AGM-45 Shrike, and the development of the AGM-78 Standard ARM and AGM-88 HARM were given a higher priority.

The AGM-63 continued on for several years as a purely theoretical missile. No design or configuration was ever settled on, and the project was cancelled in the late 1960s.

AGM-76 Falcon

The AGM-76 Falcon was an air-to-surface anti-radiation missile developed by the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. Intended as a conversion using off-the-shelf parts, it did not go into operational service.

AGM-78 Standard ARM

The AGM-78 Standard ARM was an anti-radiation missile developed by General Dynamics, United States.


The AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-radiation Missile) is a tactical, air-to-surface anti-radiation missile designed to home in on electronic transmissions coming from surface-to-air radar systems. It was originally developed by Texas Instruments as a replacement for the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-78 Standard ARM system. Production was later taken over by Raytheon Corporation when it purchased the defense production business of Texas Instruments.

AIM-47 Falcon

The Hughes AIM-47 Falcon, originally GAR-9, was a very long-range high-performance air-to-air missile that shared the basic design of the earlier AIM-4 Falcon. It was developed in 1958 along with the new Hughes AN/ASG-18 radar fire-control system intended to arm the Mach 3 XF-108 Rapier interceptor aircraft and, after its cancellation, the YF-12A. It was never used operationally, but was a direct predecessor of the AIM-54 Phoenix.


The AN/TPS-43 is a transportable air search 3D radar produced in the United States originally by Westinghouse Defense and Electronic Division, which was later purchased by Northrop-Grumman.

Anti-radiation missile

An anti-radiation missile (ARM) is a missile designed to detect and home in on an enemy radio emission source. Typically, these are designed for use against an enemy radar, although jammers and even radios used for communications can also be targeted in this manner.

British air services in the Falklands War

This is a list of the units, aircraft and casualties of the British air services in the Falklands War. The numbers in bold are the number of aircraft used in the war, the numbers in brackets are the number of lost aircraft. For a list of air forces from Argentina, see Argentine air forces in the Falklands War.

Dancing with Death (Vietnam War)

"Dancing with Death" was the satirical term used by the US Air Force Combat pilots after facing advanced Soviet made Surface to air missiles in the Vietnamese Skies. At the onset of Vietnam war, US pilots had carte blanche over Vietnamese airspace but situations changed drastically after the introduction of sophisticated Soviet Anti-aircraft systems. During the initial stages, poorly equipped Vietnamese air defense forces were unable to shoot down high altitude US aircraft with World War II Vintage guns. When they asked for assistance, their chief ally Soviet Union decided to supply S-75 Dvina. Although, Soviet government was apprehensive in the beginning but subsequently deployed the systems in combat zone. Soviet specialists, about a thousand troops arrived Vietnam in April 1965. Generous and massive Soviet military aid that consisted of MiG fighters, Kalashnikov rifles and missiles enabled Vietnam to become a formidable belligerent. 7658 missiles and 95 S-75 Missile Systems were delivered between 1965 and 1972. In the initial stages of conflict US combat pilots referred anti aircraft missiles as Russian-made "telephone poles."S-75 program attained ubiquitous prominence in 1960 when it was used to shoot down U-2 of Francis Gary Powers overflying the Soviet Union. Again, during Cuban Missile Crisis, S-75 system shot down another U-2 (piloted by Rudolf Anderson). Most of the systems were extensively deployed in the periphery of Hanoi-Haiphong area and US intelligence and reconnaissance flights detected the employment of S-75 systems almost immediately by 5 April 1965. It was in August 1965 that first high altitude SAMs were fired against USAF over Vietnam, out of four US Phantoms, three were knocked down.

During the first few days US pilots were helpless but soon they crafted tactics to dodge anti-aircraft missile systems. The aggressive missile evading maneuvers and tactics were jokingly refereed as "Dancing with Death." The pilots generally had only few seconds to react and failure meant certain death. American commanders were surprised and impressed that Vietnam, deemed to be a pastoral state could dexterously handle such advanced Sam Systems. Americans not only devised tactics but decided to suppress the threat caused by soviet supplied Anti-aircraft systems. They created special units armed with AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missile designed to home in on hostile anti- aircraft radar that received the name "Wild Weasels. The launch platforms of these missiles were A-4 Skyhawk, A-6 Intruder, F-105 Thunderchief, F-4 Phantom II and were tasked to attack installations of Vietnam's air defense network. Soviet specialist upgraded S-75 systems on periodic basis and improved its resistance to jamming.


The H-4 SOW (Stand-Off Weapon) is a precision-guided glide bomb manufactured by Pakistan and deployed by the Pakistan Air Force, capable of striking targets at stand-off range. It has a terminal guidance system based on an infrared homing seeker, which identifies the target during the final stage of flight. Designed to hit targets out to 120 km, the bomb may have the capability to evade radar.


The Hatf I (Urdu: حتف‎; official codename: Hatf–I) is a tactical and subsonic unguided battlefield range ballistic missile jointly designed and developed by the Space Research Commission and the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) in 1980s. After its successful tests, the Hatf-I entered in the service with Pakistan Army in 1990. It is deployed as an artillery rocket and has been replaced by the improved Hatf-IA and Hatf-IB, which have a maximum range of 100 km.

List of munitions used by the Israeli Air Force

This List of Munitions of the Israeli Air Force lists the missiles, bombs and related equipment in use by the Israeli Air Force since its formation.

Mark 118 bomb

The M118 is an air-dropped general-purpose or demolition bomb used by United States military forces. It dates back to the time of the Korean War of the early 1950s. Although it has a nominal weight of 3,000 lb (1,350 kg), its actual weight, depending on fuse and retardation options, is somewhat higher. A typical non-retarded configuration has a total weight of 3,049 lb (1,383 kg) with an explosive content of 1,975 lb (895 kg) of tritonal. This is a higher percentage than in the more recent American Mark 80 series bombs thus perhaps the designation as a demolition bomb.

In the late 1950s through the early 1970s it was a standard aircraft weapon, carried by the F-100 Super Sabre, F-104 Starfighter, F-105 Thunderchief, and F-4 Phantom. Some apparently remain in the USAF inventory, although they are rarely used today.

It was a component of the GBU-9/B version of the Rockwell electro-optically guided Homing Bomb System (HOBOS). This weapon consisted of a M-118 fitted with a KMU-390/B guidance kit with an image contrast seeker, strakes and cruciform tail fins to guide the bomb to its target. It was also used in the Texas Instruments Paveway I series of laser-guided bombs as the GBU-11 when it was fitted with the KMU-388 seeker head, MAU-157 Computer Control Group and the MXU-602 Airfoil Group. This latter consisted of four fixed cruciform fins and four moveable canards to control the bomb's trajectory. It was also fitted with an AIM-9B Sidewinder infra-red seeker and an AGM-45 Shrike nose cone during 1967 tests at the Naval Ordnance Test Station China Lake, presumably in an attempt to create an infra-red guided bomb. This was called the Bombwinder.

Martel (missile)

The Martel is an Anglo-French anti-radiation missile (ARM). The name Martel is a contraction of Missile, Anti-Radiation, Television, referring to the guidance options. There are two variants, the passive radar guided (AS 37) and the video guided (AJ 168).

The aircraft that used these missiles were the Blackburn Buccaneer (up to three TV or four ARM variant), the SEPECAT Jaguar (two), the Mirage III/F1 (one or two), and the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod (at least one). The Martel was suited to anti-ship attack with its long range and heavy warhead. There was not, at the time, a small radar homing missile like the AGM-84 Harpoon with an active radar, so the only viable solution was a TV or ARM sensor. With a relatively long range, a heavy payload, and a subsonic speed, this missile compares more to an anti-ship weapon like the Exocet or the AS.34 Kormoran than an anti-radar missile. It weighs three times as much as the AGM-45 Shrike, with half the speed but much greater range and explosive power.

It was possible to adapt the Martel ARM to be used against different wavelength radars. It was an improvement compared to the early Standard ARM missiles, that had only one narrow-band homing sensor. But the ARM sensor was only selectable on the ground, not in flight and so before taking-off it was necessary to know what kind of radar should be attacked.

The UK has used both types, the French only the radar-equipped variant. The Martel fuselage forms the basis for the Sea Eagle anti-ship missile with a turbojet to improve range, while the French used it to develop ARMAT, an advanced ARM missile in the 1980s. For ARM functions, the RAF adopted a totally new and much smaller missile, the ALARM.

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The Hatf IX ("Vengeance IX") or Nasr (Arabic: نصر‎), is a solid fueled tactical ballistic missile system developed by National Development Complex (NDC) of Pakistan.

The ISPR described the system as "Multi-tube Ballistic Missile" because the launch vehicle carries multiple missiles. Its existence was revealed after a test in 2011 and it appears to have entered service after further testing in 2013.

VA-23 (U.S. Navy)

VA-23, nicknamed the Black Knights, was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy, established as Reserve Fighter Squadron VF-653 in December 1949 at NAS Akron, Ohio. The squadron relocated to NAS Alameda on 16 April 1951. It was redesignated VF-151 on 4 February 1953, and as VA-151 on 7 February 1956. It was finally designated as VA-23 on 23 February 1959, and moved to NAS Lemoore on 30 September 1961. The squadron was disestablished on 1 April 1970.


Strike Fighter Squadron 132 (VFA-132), also known as the "Privateers", was an aviation unit of the United States Navy that was based at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida (USA), in service from 1984 to 1992.

Zarb (missile)

The Zarb (Urdu: ضرب) is a subsonic surface anti-ship cruise missile, currently in service with Pakistan Navy.

United States Navy missile designations 1947–1962
Air-launched missiles
Surface-launched missiles
Test vehicles

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