What missile is this?


I’m uncertain what this missile is, or is supposed to be, because there are no markings on it.

From the wing configuration in this picture, I assume it is an early Sparrow version but would it be fired from this position? It looks as if the fins would be torn off if it launched from this mounting. It wasn’t dropped and then fired, was it?

This is the launch platform in question, an F-4 Navy version.


It looks much like an “AIM-7 Sparrow”


Shotmeister–It is a AIM-7 Sparrow. I have loaded 100’s of them when I was in the Air Force. I also worked on the launchers for them. When the missile is fired, two pistons in the launcher kick it down from the aircraft before it ignites


Shotmeister, Nice pics!


Were the launcher pistons fired by cartridges (CAD)?



Dave–They are self-contained, gas-operated mechanisms, capable of suspending and ejecting the AIM-7 Sparrow missile. Ejection force is supplied by two CCU-45 impulse cartridges ignited by an electrical impulse applied by the missile firing switch. The rapidly expanding gases actuate the ejector pistons and release the missile from the launcher. Power is applied to the missile guidance control system through the umbilical plug.


Thanks Ron for the detailed description. Now I need to check the other side for the piston system! There’s no missile there.


Shotmeister–All you will see are two rectangular curved pads. The pistons are up inside the aircraft and are part of the launcher itself. The launcher is held in place with 4 bolts. Once the bolts are removed the entire launcher comes out as a unit. The pistons are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 18 inches long. They look like 2 pipes sticking straight up.


I assume these are the pistons Ron refers to, or at least the wholes where they come out. Not sure what the pads near the wholes do but I guess they hold the missile.

This is most surely the umbilibal cable connection.