Raytheon Company announced today it is developing a new medium-range, air-launched weapon called the Peregrine missile, that is half the size and cost of today’s AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, yet delivers greater effect. Raytheon develops the new weapon with internal funds, to maintain its dominance in the air-to-air weaponry market, after failing to win the Air Forces’ selection for the AIM-260 next-generation missile. The Air Force selected Lockheed Martin to develop the new missile to equip its 5GEN and 6GEN fighters.
Peregrine will be shorter and lighter than the AIM-260 and is positioned to become a replacement for both AIM-120 and AIM-9X, as it enhances each of those missile’s capabilities, offering more energetic, agile and flexible air-to-air capabilities to current and new generation fighters.
“Peregrine will allow U.S. and allied fighter pilots to carry more missiles into battle to maintain air dominance,” said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. “With its advanced sensor, guidance and propulsion systems packed into a much smaller airframe, this new weapon represents a significant leap forward in air-to-air missile development.”
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[wlm_ismember]The Peregrine missile benefits from military off-the-shelf components, additive manufacturing processes, and readily available materials to offer an affordable solution for countering current and emerging airborne threats. At a length of 6 ft. (1.8 m) and a total weight of about 150 lb. (68 kg) Peregrine measures about half the size of an AMRAAM, Peregrine doubles the missile loads in the internal weapon bays of stealth fighters or triples the AAM loadout on the external weapon stations of other fighter aircraft. Unlike the AIM-120 active radar guidance or AIM-9X passive imaging sensor, Peregrine uses a multimode autonomous seeker for guidance, similar to the Israeli Python 6 (Stunner), providing an advantage in complex combat engagements. Raytheon and Rafael have developed and are marketing the David’s Sling Weapon System as a joint program funded by Israel and the USA.
According to Raytheon, Peregrine will strengthen the capabilities of current fighter aircraft, with a weapon that will be faster and more agile than legacy medium-range air-to-air missiles (AIM-120) and go farther than current, agile AIM-9X2 missiles. Given the small size, the new missile will double the weapons loadout on a variety of fighter platforms, particularly stealth aircraft with limited capacity in internal weapon bays. The weapon’s miniaturized guidance system can detect and track targets at long distance, any time of day and in any weather condition.[/wlm_ismember]