Rapier was developed via ET.316 and PT.428 to replace the Thunderbird II in British Army service. Rapier became one of the most successful low altitude mobile SAMs ever deployed.
PT.428 was a highly mobile all-weather SAM system that could be accommodated in a single tracked vehicle. It was too ambitious for the early 1960s, so was shelved in favour of a simpler system called Sightline. This evolved into the ET.316 project.
Highly mobile and capable of being mounted on a trailer or on a tracked vehicle, Rapier showed its worth in the Falklands War. Uses a single Troy rocket motor.
Described as a "Hittile" Rapier is intended to destroy low altitude fast moving threats as well as helicopters. Later modifications include "Blindfire" and"Sabre" cluster munitions dispenser. Sabre was not adopted.
Later versions are called Laser fire (shown below) Rapier 2000 and Jernas. Jernas is a desertized Rapier Field Standard C (FSC). These incorporate improved guidance systems. The name "Mongoose" was suggested for Rapier, but was rejected because no one knows what the plural of Mongoose was.
This photo shows a Laserfire rapier unit, which uses a laser to track target aircraft. The missiles are mounted in fours on a trailer launcher.
Guided Weapons or Alpha-numeric Codes or Radar