10-15 years after adopting an anti-aircraft missile system Rapier British military has become clear that it is necessary to attend to the creation of new means of defense of the same class. Based on the economic and practical judgments, it was decided not to create a new air defense system from scratch, but do it by deep modernization of the existing «Rapier». Competition for the modernization of an old complex was won by British Aerospace. This selection can explain the military that shortly before the company was formed by the merger and conversion of several defense companies, including British Aircraft Corporation, created the initial Rapier.
Work on a brand new complex, which received the title of Rapier-2000, were launched in 1986. The purpose of the upgrade was is ordinary: a small force and the cost to make a new air defense system capable of excellent fight with all existing and promising air targets. In addition, it was necessary to increase the capacity of the complex against low-altitude targets and provide the ability to work in the criteria for the introduction of the enemy of modern electronic warfare. In the end, the new SAM had to have sufficient mobility, which required use wheeled chassis.
The main element of the anti-aircraft missile system Rapier-2000 is a rocket Rapier Mk2, is a direct descendant of ammunition unique version of «Rapier». Rocket length 2.24 meters and a launch weight of 43 kilograms is based on conventional aerodynamic configuration. In the middle part of the cylindrical body mounted four stabilizer with integrated antennas Listener. Rudders and actuators, respectively, are located at the rear of the rocket motor the solid before the nozzle. In addition, the tail of the rocket has four tracer: using their optoelectronic station air defense missile system can track down the movement of the rocket. Warhead missiles is a 2-ways. In the first case, high-explosive warhead with a remote detonator on the basis of a laser range finder, and the 2nd — polubroneboynaya with contact fuze. First created for hitting small targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles or cruise missiles, and the second is used for attack aircraft and helicopters. In both the missile has a self-killer. It works in this case within the first 0.5 seconds of flight the missile did not receive commands from the guidance station. Transporting missiles carried in special containers. Before gear missile launcher removed from the containers after installed on the guide. Among other during the modernization of old Mk1 missiles and bring them to a state of British Aerospace designers Mk2 improved resource ammunition. For this reason, the missile Rapier Mk2 can be stored in the shipping container up to 10 years, of course, with proper storage and appeal to them.
The launching of rockets from the guides carried launcher. It is a module mounted on a two-wheeled chassis. On a turntable with a hydraulic drive with eight guides missiles and two blocks optronic observation station (ECO) — sighting and hardware. Thanks turntable guides and ECO have a radial traverse. Vertical rails and the viewfinders can move in the range from -5 ° to + 60 °. Installation guides missiles done manually by 2-fighter based complex.
For the detection and tracking of targets in the complex Rapier-2000 includes a radar Dagger. Evaluators radar capable of detecting and accompany immediately to 75 goals. In addition, the equipment can automatically distribute the goal of raising the threat of an attack order and build a suitable way. According to several sources, automatic radar Dagger has functions to counter anti-radiation munitions. So, finding the attack, the station disables automatic transmission of any signals that, on the idea of designers should confuse suggestive source of radiation missile. Dagger radar antenna consists of 1024 transceivers parts and allows you to confidently «see» the target at a distance up to 20 km. In addition, Dagger makes recognition by the «friend or foe».
Missile guidance to the target object is a separate radar Blindfire-2000. It is forthcoming development of the respective element of the complex Rapier — DN-181 radar — and has the best properties in comparison with him. Namely, «Blandfaer 2000» uses a linear frequency modulation of the emitted signal, which noticeably improves immunity. Curiously, the station complex guidance Rapier-2000 takes a rocket to support slightly earlier than it was on the Rapier. To do this on the launcher, and specifically on the sighting unit, there is an additional antenna missile control. This antenna is used to launch missiles at the main signal. If resistance to interference station Blindfire-2000 is insufficient, pointing missiles going through ECO. It consists of a television camera and thermal imager. Using tracer missiles ECO calculator gives its coordinates. With all of this right may be the detection and tracking of the target optical means. Yet, regardless of the method used, detection, sending commands to the missile carried by radio. Immediately fire likely only 2-goals — by means of tracking of targets and missiles.
All elements of the air defense missile system Rapier-2000 set 3 on similar biaxial trailers, towing that can run though how easily accessible the respective transport capacity. The main towing with all this over-terrain trucks are: once with mobility and they are used as transport vehicles. In the back of the 1st truck can carry 15-20 missiles in transport containers. Each trailer on which a complex, include a separate diesel generator, air and air-conditioner system liquid cooling equipment to ensure efficient operation. Except for the 3 trailers with equipment and missile complex includes two remote control panel on tripods. One of them is the workplace commander calculation, the other — the operator. When triggered, the SAM in the firing position calculation connects all elements using fiber optic cables. Radio communication between them is not possible. It was made to increase the efficiency of interaction systems in the criteria for the introduction of enemy electronic warfare.
Anti-aircraft missile system Rapier-2000 was adopted by the Army and Air Force in England in 1995. Originally planned to produce for their own needs more than 2-hundred sets of «Rapier-2000», but for various reasons it was done only after 10 years with excessive. At the same time, the situation has allowed spetsam British Aerospace to make export modification entitled Jernas. From unusual Rapier-2000 it differs only certain assembly units and used the platform. So, launcher and radar detection Jernas Dagger can be installed on a two-wheeled trailer and body instead of a suitable vehicle. This, for example, may be recognizable jeep HMMWV or similar cars him. As for the remote control, in all cases they are installed in the cab.