Aspide missile explained as first system arrives in Ukraine from Spain

As Ukraine receives its first Aspide missiles from Spain, we take a closer at what they can do.

The Italian-made medium-range missile is suitable for both air-to-air and surface-to-air applications.

It was first developed by the Selenia company in 1969 for the Italian Air Force and was based on the American missile AIM-7E Sparrow.

The most recent modification is called Aspide 2000 or the Skyguard air defence gun and missile system.  

This 240g missile is 3.70m long and 0.20m in diameter.

Like most longer-range air-to-air and surface-to-air missile systems, it has a semi-active radar homing (SARH), missile guidance system. 

The range of the missiles means they can provide a wide area of defence against all air threats.

The Aspide 2000 is capable of engaging an enemy attack aircraft before the aircraft can fire its onboard countermeasures and is also capable of intercepting air-launched missiles after launch.

The missile is used by both Italy and Spain.

Aspide 2000 key facts:

  • Engine: SNIA-Viscosa solid-propellant rocket
  • Range: 25km
  • Speed: Mach 4
  • Guidance system: Selenia monopulse semi-active radar GPS

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