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Fate of the pilots became even more dangerous, since armies began to fight aviation not only with other aircraft, but also by the use of radar and led by anti-aircraft guns. Such actions have already taken place during the Second World War, by which it became necessary to create a new type of specialized air units, trained to  Suppress Enemy Air Defence – in short SEAD.

F-105G Wild Weasel
F-105G Wild Weasel missiles AGM-45 and AGM-78

Wild Weasel – combat radar

Wild Weasel is an American designation of SEAD missions for the USAF. It started during the war in Vietnam and use specially adapted aircraft. At the beginning they were F100F Super Sabre supported by Republic-F105 Thunderchief. Originally they were attacking radar installations and SAM missile launchers using bombs and guns.
In later years, Wild Weasel turned into missiles equipped  F-105F and F-105G and F-4C and F-4D Phantom II aircraft.
To fulfill its mission Wild Weasel aircraft missiles initially used the AGM-45 Shrike, used from 1963 to 1992. AGM-45 Shrike Missile is guided by ground defense radar signals. It was created on the basis of the missile AIM-7 Sparrow, when added to the head homing at the radar radiation source.

 S-75 Dvina SA-2

anti-missile S-75 Dvina – the main target of Wild Weasel aircraft in Vietnam

Then it was introduced the AGM-78 Standard missile, created on the basis of ship anti-aircrafdt missile, boasting a greater range and speed. As a result, he could be fired from a distance and to a lesser extent, exposing Wild Weasels to hit. This rocket was, however, very expensive, and is still AGM-45 Shrikes remained in use.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy has also taken steps against enemy anti-air defense radar targeting. In missions “Iron Hand” took part A-4E Skyhawk equipped with AGM-45 Shrike missiles. In the later stages of the war the A-7B Intruder joined using AGM-45 and AGM-78 Standard.
Skyhawk fires AGM-45

Fring of the AGM-45 Shrike from the A-4F Skyhawk

F-4G Wild Weasel and HARM missile

Project F-4 Phantom II was still being developed, which led to the creation of the longest used the F-4G Wild Weasel (1975). It comes with a new ultra-fast missile AGM-88 HARM, allowing the attacking of SAM radars before aircraft invade their range of missile launch. To destroy the radar and missile launchers at close range it uses missiles AGM-65 Maverick, directed the television or the laser head.


F-4G Wild Weasel with the AGM-45 missiles, AGM-65, AGM-78 and AGM-88

New war against radar

In 1990, the RAF used the ALARM missiles in the Gulf War, allowing British and allied aircraft escaped destruction at the hands of the Iraqi defenses. These types of missiles have several modes of tracking radars. Thanks to remembering radar site position even when the radar is disabled in order to avoid hit by the HARM missile. In 2013, this type of missiles were withdrawn from RAF. Radar homing missiles are not the only equipment of the modern Wild Weasel units. They can be fitted with the AGM-65 Maverick as well as cluster bombs, such as the Mark 20 Rockeye. They are used due to the fact that the location of radar and anti-aircraft guns are dispersed and cluster bomb can destroy a large area at one time.
One of the most modern aircraft taking part in combat missions against air protection are F-16 and F/A-18. Version marked as F-16 Block 52 + (or advanced) is ised by Polish Aviation. Unfortunately, so far Poland have not received HARM missile, which severely hinders the operation of Polish F-16 in the hostile environment of the modern battlefield.

HARM & , F-18

AGM-88 missile under wing of the F/A-18 aircraft aboard U.S. Navy Carrier

Models of Wild Weasel missiles

Attack Squadron offers models of anti radar missiles for Wild Weasel aircraft in 1:72 scale and 1:48


At the top is the AGM-88 HARM, at the bottom is the AGM-45 Shrike


Available model rockets

1: 48 AGM-45 Shrike 2pcs.

1: 48 AGM-88 HARM 2pcs.

1:72 AGM-45 Shrike 2pcs.

1:72 AGM-88 HARM 2pcs.

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