Rafael is showing a new 6th Generation long-range air/air missile called SkySpear. The missile uses a double fin design at the tail and four canards at the front; a similar design was used in the main segment of the ground-to-air Stunner interceptor.

Coupled with a three-pulse rocket motor (supporting the boost, sustain, and endgame pulses), this design provides superior maneuverability and performance throughout the flight and engagement envelope. SkySpear is designed as a long-range air/air missile. Rafael’s sources did not specify the range but said it significantly exceeds the I-Derby ER, which is Rafael’s longest-range AAM.

Another new element in the SkySpear missile is its RF seeker. Unlike the Stunner’s dual seeker, SkySpear uses only an RF seeker. Rafael performed tradeoff studies that proved that the new seeker could deliver the required performance with a single seeker at the extended range and under contested electronic warfare.

Rafael presented the SkySpear to several potential customers and will proceed with full-scale development of this new missile upon the customer’s commitment.

SkySpear addresses the need for long-range intercepts, as reflected by Raytheon’s latest variants of AIM-120D AMRAAM, the European Meteor from MBDA, and the Vympel R-37 (RVV-BD) from Russia. Unlike the ramjet propulsion the Meteor uses to meet range performance, SkySpear relies on more efficient rocket propulsion to achieve the required range and maneuverability.

SkySpear is slightly shorter than the I-DerbyER, which means it may be fitting weapon bays limiting the use of other missiles. The new RF seeker technology allows for early lock-on, a more accurate end game, and a substantial leap in EW immunity.