Anti-radiation missiles (ARM) are guided missiles conceived to wipe out enemy ground radars that control the enemy air defense system. The ARM was developed in the mid 1960s as it was first used in combat during the Vietnam War to destroy the Soviet-made SAM missiles radar installations of the North Vietnamese Army. These Soviet, surface-to-air missiles were causing a lot of American casualties and were responsible for the lost of many US Air Force bombers, specially B-52 Stratofortress, and US Navy’s ground-attack aircraft. In order to counteract this Soviet threat lurking in the jungle of North Vietnam, the US Navy’s engineers designed the first anti-radiation missile, which was the AGM-45 Shrike, which was first launched in combat from the A-4 Skyhawk; later, the US Navy would employ the F-4G Phantom II and the US Air Force the 105G Thunderchief fighter-bombers as the standard platform of the anti-radiation missiles. These aircraft variants were called Wild Weasels.
List of anti-radiation missiles
United States of America
- AGM-45 Shrike. In service between 1965 and 1992
- AGM-78 Standard. Operational from 1968 to 1988
- AGM-88 Harm. Still in service
- ALARM. It entered service in 1990. Launched from a Tornado GR.4 aircraft, it has an operational range of 95 km.
- ARMIGER. Launched from a Panavia Tornado aircraft, it is presently in service in the German Air Force, replacing the AGM-88 Harm. It has a range of over 200 km. Its warhead weighs 20 kg.
- Kh-25MP. It is a variant of the Kh-25 (AS-10 Karen) tactical air-to-surface missile, entering service in the late 1970s.