Armstrong Whitworth Sea Slug Surface to Air missile

GWS-1 Sea Slug was a moderately successful design that came into service with the Royal Navy on County Class destroyers in the 1950s. Used in the Falklands, for amongst other things, destroying surface targets (rumoured to include a radar system), Sea Slug was withdrawn from Royal Navy service with the County class destroyers.

Sea Slug was the result of the development programme to meet Stage 1 of the postwar SAM programme. Built on the work carried out on LOP/GAP , Sea Slug was the Royal Navy's first SAM. Guidance was by beam-riding, using the Type 901 radar and the missile's range was 5 miles.

Mounted in pairs on large, trainable launchers, Sea Slug is boosted by a quartet of Retriever solid rocket wrap-around boosters. Over the years, Sea Slug has been fitted with a variety of boosters and sustainer motors. Originally with a NK.1 liquid fuelled sustainer, replaced with Foxhound solid sustainer which was in turn replaced by the Deerhound sustainer. The ultimate version for the Chilean Navy dispensed with the wrap-around boosters and used a tandem boost.

Proposed variants included Blue Slug, a longer-ranged nuclear-armed, anti-ship missile system. Blue Slug was intended to use the existing launchers, Type 901 radar and guidance used for Sea Slug to attack surface vessels. Blue Slug was cancelled in favour of Green Cheese.


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