Israeli Rafael announces the imminent arrival of a long-range air-to-air missile competing with the European Meteor

The Israeli industrialist Rafael has just announced the imminent arrival of the Sky Spear, a long-range air-to-air missile competing with the American AMRAAM and the European Meteor.

The Israeli defense industry does not produce planes or helicopter gunships, nor frigates or submarines. On the other hand, it is very present in certain fields, such as that of drones, radars, ground-air systems or armored vehicles. It has also developed recognized expertise in the field of air-to-air missiles.

And in fact, the short-range missiles of the Shafrir and Python family, developed since 1959 by the industrialist Rafael, are today in service in about twenty air forces, the most notable being Brazil, India, Taiwan and even the People's Republic of China, which licensed Python 3 as PL-8.

If Rafael's short-range air-to-air missiles have shown their value, including in combat, like the near-performance medium-range Derby of MICA, the Israeli Air Force continues to rely on American missiles for engagements beyond 50 km, and in particular on the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile.

PL 8 J15 Air-to-Air Missiles | Fighter jets | Flash Defense
The Python-3, here fitted to a J-15 aboard the aircraft carrier Liaoning, is produced by China under the designation PL-8

But things may well change in the near future. Indeed, at the Paris Air Show, Rafael announced that it was developing a new long-range air-to-air missile, dubbed Sky Spear, which is, according to a company official, in the final stages of development, and which could therefore replace the American AMRAAMs under the wings of the Israeli F-15, F16 and F-35 in the years to come.

No additional useful information has been divulged on this subject about this new missile, beyond the creamy and traditional superlatives that industrialists are fond of in this type of show.


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