Swingfire launching from a Striker
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||See text|
|Unit cost||£7,600 (1984)|
|No. built||46,650 |
|Warhead||7 kg HEAT|
|Engine||Solid rocket motor|
|150 - 4,000 m|
|Thrust Vector Control|
Swingfire was a British wire-guided anti-tank missile developed in the 1960s and produced from 1966 until 1993. The name refers to its ability 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 could be concealed and the operator, using a portable sight, placed at a distance in a more advantageous firing position.
Swingfire was developed by Fairey Engineering Ltd and the British Aircraft Corporation, together with Wallop Industries Ltd and minor subcontractors. It replaced the Vickers Vigilant missile in British service. Its design incorporated elements from its predecessor the Vigilant and the experimental Orange William missile.
- FV712, Mk 5 Ferret with 4 missiles in use with the British Army
- Beeswing - on a Land Rover
- Hawkswing - on a Lynx helicopter 
- Golfswing - on a small trolley or Argocat vehicle.
Replacement in British Army
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.[needs update]
- 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 
|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.
- Kenyan Army
- Nigerian Army
- Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabian Army
- 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.
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.
Notes and references
- Pattie, Geoffrey. "Weapons and Equipment (Costs)". millbanksystems. millbanksystems. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Swingfire". www.forecastinternational.com. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008.
- Wallop Pyrotechnics Archived 28 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Flight International, 18/25 June 1977, p. 1854
- "Britain's Small Wars". Facebook. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080303111944/http://www.gnn.gov.uk/content/detail.asp?NewsAreaID=2&ReleaseID=165224. Archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2016. Missing or empty
- "Javelin Portable Anti-Tank Missile - Army Technology". Army-technology.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.[unreliable source?]
- 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).
- "Swingfire". Everything2.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- John Pike. "Army". Globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- John Pike. "Arab British Dynamics Co. ABD (AOI)". Globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
-  Archived 25 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Nigeria Armee nigeriane forces terrestres equipements vehicules blindes militaires information descr - Nigeria - Africa - world army military military land forces". Armyrecognition.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- "Sudan, Civil War since 1955". Acig.org. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- "Hansard". Publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- "Hansard". =Publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- David Hencke. "MoD gives up on lost warheads". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
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