From The Archives: Rapier Launched From Tracked Vehicle

Our Aug.1, 1977, cover featured a new mobile version of the UK's Rapier surface-to-air missile system based on a tracked vehicle.

Built by British Aerospace, the Rapier had debuted six years earlier and was designed to intercept aircraft flying supersonically at low altitudes.

The mobile system on our cover was being developed for Iran, one of many weapons purchases undertaken by the nation's leader, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

But the shah would be driven from power within 18 months, before the system could be delivered. The Rapier heldon much longer: It was deployed during the 1982 Falkland Islands War and was finally retired by the Royal Artillery, to be replaced by the Sky Sabre air defense system.


Enjoy unlimited access to the complete Aviation Week Archive which has over 100 Years of Aviation Week — at your fingertips.

Every issue, every page, every article we have ever published. Your subscription includes full access to the archives, plus current Aviation Week & Space Technology articles (both digital and print packages available).