Apr 302014

The San Diego Air and Space Museum posted a few bits of art showing the innards of the old Redeye surface-to-air missile. See the best-rez versions HERE and HERE.

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 Posted by at 12:50 pm
  • Bill Higgins

    I’m afraid I’m not familiar with how the Redeye is supposed to work.

    What does “(3) Self-Destruct Cycle Begins” mean, exactly?

    If the missile doesn’t find a target, it blows itself up in mid-air?

    If the missile doesn’t find a target, it disarms the warhead?

    Something else?

    • Anonymous

      I would imagine that it blows itself up if it misses.

    • John Simpson

      The Redeye was a thermal tracker that was limited to tail on attacks on aircraft. It was real easy to spoof too which is why it’s been replaced by the Stinger.

      The Redeye reticle scan seeker had a single detector element. The target “hot spot” (it wasn’t a resolved image) was viewed through a reticle, with alternating opaque and transparent vanes. The spinning reticle captured the target pattern as a circle, the radius of which represented the magnitude of the deviation from true alignment with the target. As the missile homed in on the target and the deviation decreased, the signal-to-noise ratio became less favorable, producing lower accuracies.

      To answer your specific question, it blows up if it doesn’t detonate near a target.



      • John Simpson

        Sorry, I meant to include this. It’s B&W versions from a now declassified manual of the posted color slides. It does have a more detailed list of the sequence.

        • Bill Higgins

          Thanks for digging that up, John.