Sky Spear

According to a company spokesperson, the missile is in the final development phase, and Rafael is looking for customers worldwide.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has just presented what it calls a new 6th generation air-to-air missile dubbed Sky Spear, a weapon that, according to the company, will have “advanced capabilities that will give users a qualitative advantage over their most capable adversaries.”.»

The missile is designed to give aircraft long-range capabilities and can be used on any combat aircraft, new or old, still in service, according to a company spokesperson.

“With the advent of long-range air-to-air missiles, the challenges facing air forces have increased exponentially over time. The scope of the matchup has been expanded, and the time interval between launch and the end of the game has created a significant zone of uncertainty, “says the company.

Rafael claims that Sky Spear employs a new class of radio frequency seekers and additional technologies. “The Sky Spear missile is designed to engage targets at long range, ensuring that adversaries are overwhelmed before they have a chance to launch,” the firm says. “Its new RF seeker technology allows for early lock-on, increased late-game accuracy, and a substantial jump in EW immunity.”

Rafael announces the new sixth generation air-to-air missile 'Sky Spear'.

Retired Brig-Gen (Res.) Pini Yungman, vice president and head of Rafael’s Air and Missile Defense Directorate, stated in the company statement that the missile is the latest in the company’s long legacy of air-to-air weapons. The first air-to-air missile created by Rafael was developed in 1959, and there are already five generations. The legacy goes back to the original Shafrir or Python missile. That missile was designed by Rafael, which is the defense product research and development center historically funded by the Israeli government. Like the Sky Spear, Rafael has exhibited previous generations of this type of missile at the Paris Air Show.

The Sky Spear is not yet operational, nor has it been sold to foreign countries. A company spokesperson stated that the missile is “next to final development, [and] we are engaging with top industry leaders [from around] the world for possible development/production cooperation […], as well as potential customers.

The Sky Spear unveiling comes after the company also announced its new Sky Sonic concept, designed to intercept hypersonic missiles. Rafael has announced several new missiles in recent years. In 2021 it presented its 5th generation Sea Breaker missile and in July 2022, the 6th generation of its Spike NLOS.

Seth J Frantzman