ALARM missile

ALARM (Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile) is a British anti-radiation missile designed primarily to destroy enemy radars for the purpose of Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD). It is used by the RAF and the Royal Saudi Air Force. [cite news |title=Saudis review F.3 air-defence role |work=Flight International|publisher=Reed Business Publishing |date=1991-12-25 |accessdate=2007-07-24]


The Ministry of Defence received bids for a new anti-radiation missile in late 1982; British Aerospace Dynamics offered ALARM while Texas Instruments teamed with Lucas Aerospace offered its HARM missile.cite news |first=Bridget |last=Bloom|title=Thatcher to resolve anti-radar missile row|work=Financial Times|date=1983-05-16|accessdate=2007-07-24] Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine announced the selection of ALARM on 29 July 1983. The initial order was 750 missiles for the RAF. [cite news |title=British Select Alarm Missile Over HARM |work=Aviation Week & Space Technology |publisher=McGraw-Hill |date=1983-07-08 |accessdate=2007-07-24 ] The selection process was controversial; the battle between the contractors was bitter, the Ministry of Defence favoured ALARM to retain UK industrial capabilities while the Treasury favoured the cheaper and proven HARM. [cite news |first=Bridget |last=Bloom |title=Missile manufacturers bid for UK navy deal |work=Financial Times |date=1983-07-30|accessdate=2007-07-24 ]

In early 1986 BAe recognised that Royal Ordnance was having difficulties delivering the missile's motor, named Nuthatch, and began to consider alternatives. Royal Ordnance's solution to the required burn-loiter-burn characteristic of the engine was complex. [cite news |first=David |last=Buchan |title=BAe Cancels Missile Deal With Royal Ordnance |work=Financial Times |date= 1987-07-20|accessdate=2007-07-24 ] In July 1987 BAe, by then the owner of Royal Ordnance, replaced the Nuthatch motor with a lower risk motor designed by Bayern-Chemie. [cite news |title=British Aerospace Delays Missile Program |url= |work=Aviation Week & Space Technology |publisher=McGraw-Hill |date=1987-09-21 |accessdate=2007-07-24 ] BAe's GB£200 million contract for the missile was renegotiated with the price increased to GB£400 million and delivery pushed back from 1988 to 1990. [cite news |first=Michael |last=Evans |title=Missile bill for RAF up £150 million |work=The Times |publisher=Times Newspapers |date=1988-03-18 |accessdate=2007-07-24 ]


ALARM is a fire-and-forget system, with an added loiter capability.In loiter mode, ALARM will, when launched, climb to an altitude of 13 km. If the target radar shuts down, the missile will deploy a parachute and descend slowly until the radar lights up. The missile will then fire a secondary motor to attack the target.

Combat Performance

ALARM has been used in the following conflicts:
*1991 Gulf War, during which 121 missiles were used. [cite news |title=RAF Tornados begin Yugoslavia operations from Corsican base |work=Aerospace Daily & Defense Report |publisher=The McGraw-Hill Companies |date=1999-06-03 |accessdate=2007-07-24 ]
*Kosovo War
*2003 Invasion of Iraq

During the 1999 'Allied Force' offensive in Kosovo, Luftwaffe Tornado ECR, USAF Wild Weasel F-16s and US Navy EA-6B Prowlers attempted to destroy a Serbian air defence radar with HARMs. After almost 100 attempts, the RAF was called in and the radar was destroyed with a single ALARM, thanks to its loiter capability. [Citation
last1 = Gibson | first1 = Chris
last2 = Buttler | first2 = Tony
title = British Secret Projects - Hypersonics, Ramjets and Missiles
publisher = Midland Publishing
year = 2007
isbn = 978-1-85780-258-0


* Royal Saudi Air Force; UK
* Royal Air Force


*Primary Function: Suppression of Enemy Air Defence
*Contractor: MBDA
*Power Plant: Bayern Chemie two stage solid propellant rocket motors
*Length: 4.24 m
*Diameter: 23 cm
*Wing Span: 73 cm
*Launch Weight: 268 kg
*Speed: 2455 km/h (supersonic)
*Warhead: Proximity fused high-explosive
*Range: 93km
*Fuse: Laser Proximity
*Guidance system: Pre-programmed/passive radar seeker
*Unit Cost: undisclosed
*Date Deployed: 1990
*User: UK (RAF)
**Tornado GR.4, although only IX Squadron and 31 Squadron specialise in the role.
**Tornado F3 - fitted in time for 2003 Gulf War - receiving designation Tornado EF3
**Weapon has been "fit checked" on other RAF aircraft, such as the Jaguar. Due to its relatively large weight it is not suited to the entire RAF fleet.
**Also expected to be usable on the Eurofighter Typhoon


External links

* [ RAF: ALARM description]
* [ Bayern-Chemie] - Development and production of a rocket motor used by ALARM. More than 1,200 produced
* [ Matra-BAe Dynamics ALARM] at Eurofighter Typhoon—a brief history of ALARM
* [ RAF Weapons] at

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