|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||See text|
|Number built||46,650 |
|Warhead||7 kg HEAT|
|Engine||Solid rocket motor|
|150 - 4,000 m|
|Thrust Vector Control|
Development[edit | edit source]
Swingfire was developed by Fairey Engineering Ltd and the British Aircraft Corporation. It replaced the Vickers Vigilant missile in British service. It was a product of both its predecessor the Vigilant and the experimental Orange William missile.
The name comes from the ability of the missile to make a rapid turn of up to ninety degrees after firing to bring it onto the line of the sighting mechanism. This means that the launcher vehicle can be concealed and the operator, using a portable sight, placed at a distance in a more advantageous firing position.
- Beeswing - on a Land Rover
- Hawkswing - on a Lynx helicopter 
- Golfswing - on a small trolley or Argocat vehicle.
Combat history[edit | edit source]
Replacement in British Army[edit | edit source]
After a lengthy debate, the Swingfire was replaced with the Javelin in mid-2005 to meet new and changing situational requirements. The British Army invested heavily in the Javelin, and it is now the main heavy anti-tank missile system in use by the British Army.
Specification[edit | edit source]
- Diameter: 170 mm
- Wingspan: 0.39 m
- Length: 1.07 m
- Weight: 27 kg
- Warhead: 7 kg HEAT
- Range: 150 m to 4000 m
- Velocity: 185 m/s 
- Guidance: Wire-guided, originally MCLOS, later upgraded to SACLOS, in which form the system is known as SWIG (Swingfire With Improved Guidance).
- Steering: Thrust Vectored Control (TVC)
- Penetration: 800 mm RHA
- Unit cost: £7,500 
Operators[edit | edit source]
|STRIKER firing Swingfire|
|BEESWING firing Swingfire - missile making turn that gave it its name|
|GOLFSWING dismounted firing Swingfire|
|STRIKER crew with dismounted firing post in hiding|
|Swingfire cut-away illustration|
- Swingfire missiles were also produced in Egypt under license by Arab-British Dynamics.
- Used on the Chaimite armoured fighting vehicle, now retired.
- FV102 Striker - 5 in ready-to-fire bins.
- FV438 Swingfire - Two firing bins
- Ferret Mk 5 - Four firing bins.
Decommissioning problems[edit | edit source]
Swingfire inadvertently became the subject of questions in the Houses of Parliament in March 2002 when 20 warheads, removed for decommissioning, were washed into the Bristol Channel along with 8 anti-tank mines. The warheads, with a total explosive weight equivalent to 64.2 kg of TNT, were never located.
See also[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Swingfire missiles.|
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Swingfire - Forecast International
- Britain's Small Wars - Gulf Units
- MOD press release
- Javelin - Army Technology
- Stephen Bull, Encyclopedia of military technology and innovation, 2004, Westport: Greenwood Press, p. 257. Other sources have noted the penetration as "up to 2ft thick" (~610-mm).
- Global Security
- ABD - Global Security
- NTI: Country Overviews: Egypt
- Sudan, Civil War since 1955
- MoD gives up on lost warheads
[edit | edit source]
- RAF Museum
- Global Defence
- RAF Museum
- Live firing photo gallery, Strikers on German ranges, 1979
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|