Talk:Rapier (missile)

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User list[edit]

It might be worth adding a list of users to this page. Does anyone have one?

There is such a list in the infobox, or was this not what you wanted? Andreww 09:50, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

D'oh, missed it. Just ignore me, I was being stupid.

References[edit]

This article needs to cite its sources. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:05, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Reverted removal of referenced material[edit]

Over the last few days the history of this article includes a number of comments along the lines of "rv. removal of sourced material" - User:Darth Windu has been removing reference to the tracking of a B2 in 1996 stating "A wikipedia page is not a source. A link to the article is the only good reference". Three points stand out for comment. First the internal link is not the reference. Second, a link in a reference is not needed, print sources are often preferred (and I would not be surprised if there is no on-line version of the Daly Mail from 1996). Removing a citation to a print source asking for a link is clearly not helpful (or viable - the whole of human knowledge is not on the web). Third, it would be better if the reference were fuller. A page number and the name of the journalist would help. Andreww 17:43, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

  • My main concern here is article accuracy. In this case it definately needs to be, considering the B-2 is supposed to be stealthy. So far, the only 'reference' has been a link to a wikipedia page about the newspaper that apparently ran the article. However so far no evidence has been provided that this article ever actually existed. I did an internet search and again could find only rumour. I will give it a week, and certainly hope a proper reference can be found, but if nothing improves by then I will remove the offending information. --Darth Windu 10:13, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth I remember seeing the footage taken by the SAM battery involved been shown on the BBC. It clearly showed the B-2 in the launchers sights. I've had a look on the BBCs web site but couldn't find the footage, but it did exist. Victory Is Mine 11:33, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I remember it too. I was at Farnborough at the time. Everybody was talking about it after the IR camera footage had been aired on the BBC. It's not as if it was a big secret!
I don't even see what's hard to believe here. It just goes to show you can't make a plane with the wingspan of a jumbo jet completely invisible, no matter how many billions of dollars you throw at it. The B-2 is a stealth aircraft, which means that it has a low radar cross-section, making it hard to detect by radars. That does'nt mean it's invisible.
Also, Darth Windu, you should be careful before edicting an ultimatum. You have persistently shown that you have little understanding of wikipedia references. I suggest you read WP:CITE and WP:RS thoroughly, and do not edit this article until you have fully understood those guidelines.--Raoulduke47 20:33, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Look I'm not saying the incident didn't happen okay. The problem is thus - on this page there is a claim that a B-2 - a LO aircraft specifically designed to avoid detection - was detected by the Rapier. Fine. But there is absolutely no evidence provided for this claim. Sure there's a 'reference' on the page, but again there is no evidence that article ever existed, because it links to a Wikipedia page! --Darth Windu 04:40, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

No the reference contains a link to the paper mentioned in the reference, it doesn't link to the source of the reference (and it doesn't have to). Many (if not the bulk) of Wikipedia articles have references which only refer to printed works such as books, journals, or newspapers. Without reading everything ever printed we have to accept that such things exsist on trust. Two Wikipedians (Myself and Raoulduke) both have clear memories of the event, it did happen. The fact that the reference is a newspaper article printed before the internet became widespread does not negate the fact.

I'm personally happy to admit that the incident did take place under the best possible conditions for the Rapier battery to track the B-2 weather wise (plus they knew where it was in the sky) but the fact is that the multi-billion dollar B-2 WAS tracked by a Rapier batteries IR-sights,

I suppose it might be possible for someone to contact the paper or the BBC and ask them for "hard" evidence but that seems a lot of effort to substantiate the subject. Victory Is Mine 19:12, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The fact that a B-2 could be optically tracked by the Rapier system should not really come as a surprise to anyone. It has a reduced radar signature but its not invisible. This really doesn't add anything to the article and I'd suggest it is removed. Justin A Kuntz 22:17, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

.. This is a red herring. The claim seemed to be that Rapier detected B-2 stealth bomber. this is NOT the case. the B-2's radar cross section was in all likelihood too small for rapier to detect and there was never any suggestion that the Rapier's surveillance radar detected the Bomber. an IR (infra-red)picture is simply a real-time video where heat is represented in a bright green colour with cold represented in darker shades. a likely explanation would be that the bomber was detected by eye and that the system was manually directed in the direction of the aircraft. from there the operator could simply track the target's heat signature on video. It would look a lot like they had "detected" stealth bomber.

Rapier kills in the Falklands[edit]

I think the number of 14 kills plus 6 probables is way over. I recall most sources put the number of confirmed kills in low single figures. Toby Douglass 14:26, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

An unknown user reverted this change without comment. Please explain/discuss this matter. Toby Douglass 13:24, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
No response has occurred. I have reintroduced my change. Toby Douglass 11:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm looking at the official 12h Regiment page, and they don't make any claims about kills Additionally I found this, which claims one confirmed and one possible. I think this needs to be changed. Maury 02:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I Suggest you look a bit harder[1] -

In April 1982 the battery joined 3 Commando Brigade as part of the Falklands Task Force. They landed at San Carlos on 21st May and were finally credited with 14 confirmed kills and 4 -6 probable hits on enemy aircraft. After the return from the Falklands the Battery moved to BAOR in 1985 and converted to Tracked Rapier.

Justin talk 08:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I find the Falkland section a bit confusing regarding Rapier performance. It starts with "The original Rapier FSA was deployed during the Falklands War and saw good performance against low-flying aircraft.". Then the next paragraph goes on to say: "... this did not contribute to the poor performance in the Falklands". So what was it, good or poor performance?

213.236.208.22 (talk) 13:39, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I am a Falklands War veteran and I served with T bty 12 Regt RA. My call sign 32 Alpha was successful in shooting down TWO aircraft at San Carlos ONE A4 SKYHAWK and a MIRAGE. Unfortunately we had a systems fault at Fitzroy which led to the sinking of the Galahad and damage to the Tristram, but later we did shoot down another A4 SKYHAWK that we believe was taking photographs for their battle assessment . The battery as a whole was eventually credited with 14 conformed kills & 6 probable. After having to endure many years of ridiculous speculation about our Battery’s performance I have published the official Regimental War Diaries with all of the kills at my web Blog Rogue Gunner. If anyone would like a copy please contact me and I will gladly send you one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roguegunner (talkcontribs) 18:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

A McNally —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roguegunner (talkcontribs) 18:22, 20 March 2008 (UTC)


What about 63 Sqn Royal Air Force Regiment at the Falklands during the war, with 8 fire units, do they not get a mention? I also wanted to mention, that 26 Sqn Royal Air Force Regiment where the first British Unit to receive the Blindfire Radar and start the trials using it; at the Royal Air Force base at Laarbruch Germany in December 1979. The RAF Laarbruch-Weeze Museum has a Rapier system on display at what is now called Airport Weeze - http://laarbruch-museum.net/ENG/index_ENG.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.226.24.132 (talk) 17:35, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

B-2 tracking[edit]

I'm confused by this. Rapiar is an optical system. Tracking a B-2 *optically in daylight* as it flies slowly past in a air display is not hard. As such, why does this event generate interest? is it only from people mis-understanding the situation? Toby Douglass 16:27, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree, see comment above. Justin A Kuntz 19:18, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Someone re-added that section about tracking...! Toby Douglass 13:19, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I know, I took it out again straight away. I really don't understand why people think this is notable or in anyway detracts from the B-2's capabilities. Justin A Kuntz 13:50, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

You are missing the point regarding the B2 tracking.

My understanding from the BAe team at Farnborough was that the B2 was tracked, locked and evaded an attempted jam by the B2 ECM. Although the US Air force spokesman claimed that it defences systems were only partially operational. The system was sighted using the IR, so demonstrating the effectiveness of the system at night. The successful tracking was shown on BBC Television and widely promoted by BAe at Farnborough.

The reason it is relevant is not that it was a B2, as they would operate well out of the reach of a Rapier IR sight. However it would restrict an F117 or F22 the ability to operate at low level durring night.


Another reason, and the reason that made the BAe people most happy was that none of the other systems including a Roland System successfully tracked let alone got a lock on the B2.

I shall try and get a copy of the BAe Press Release issued at the time.


I just wanted to mention, that 26 Sqn Royal Air Force Regiment where the first British Unit to receive the Blindfire Radar and start the trials using it; at the Royal Air Force base at Laarbruch Germany in December 1979. Rapier was always mean to be a "Passive System" using the optical system and with the Tracking Radar "TR" turned off when ever possible, so as not to give away the position of the Fire Unit. The Blindfire was meant to be used in bad weather, fog etc and at night in the dark. The RAF Laarbruch-Weeze Museum has a Rapier system on display at what is now called Airport Weeze - http://laarbruch-museum.net/ENG/index_ENG.htm

An ex-RAF Regiment Rapier Operator

GA —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.138.116.231 (talk) 12:19, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I still say so what. It was optically tracked, big deal, you could do the same job with an SA-7 Grail. It was a stunt, nothing more, its certainly not notable. Justin talk 18:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


Quote from above:

"My understanding from the BAe team at Farnborough was that the B2 was tracked, locked and evaded an attempted jam by the B2 ECM."

"The system was sighted using the IR"

"However it would restrict an F117 or F22 the ability to operate at low level durring night."

Two things, firstly, IR is not affected by ECM which affects radar tracking only. So who is missing the point? And aircraft fly very low to avoid radar, the whole point of stealth is so you dont *have* to fly low, where it is dangerous and there are people with nasty IR-guided SAMs about!

This was not an eye-opening event, this was a soldier getting a better view of an airshow...

CPU Used[edit]

I once heard that the CPU of the Rapiar was the Motorola 68008, the same processor used in the Sinclair QL and the Merlin Tonto/ICL One Per Desk. As I don't know if this is true or not, I ask here rather than in the main body, did the Rapiar use the Motorola 68008 as it's main processor? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Acb58 (talkcontribs) 18:33, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Ratuk (talk) 17:47, 18 July 2009 (UTC)The Rapier system has a long history and lots of sub-systems. It's probable that even the missile itself has several processors in its later incarnations. Some of the processors used in the earlier missile may even have been of the ilk of 6800/8080s (nothing like as powerful as the 68000). Some sub-systems of Rapier going into service in the mid 1980s had 6100 processors in them running at less than 4MHz---a bit of a joke in absolute terms but excellent for their specific purpose! A 68000 (and perhaps even a 6800) would have been a relatively poor choice of processor because of the additional thermal management requirements and large increase in power consumption, etc. In addition, sometimes the processors that designers would like to have used for some sub-systems weren't always approved for use in such projects---I wanted to use a 68000 in a non-missile sub-system of a 1980s Rapier revamp but had to use a much older and less sophisticated CPU. Something like a TMS320C40 was being used in some sub-systems of similar late 1980s European missiles.

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