This Tracked Rapier belongs to the Royal Artillery Museum’s collection and you can appreciate the general layout of the vehicle. With the armoured cab, the engine unit in the center and the missile system in the back. Just above the radar is installed the transmitting antenna, mounted on an articulated fork.
This is the back of the previous vehicle, where you can see the two blocks of four missile cells each, and between them, is the surveillance radar. Six smoke grenade dischargers can be observed, three on each side, just above the vehicle’s position lights.
The vehicle’s commander had a helmet with an integrated vision system that allowed him to follow and aim at the target before passing control to the operator. The optronic system was inside the cab and was retractable through the roof of the cab.
The vehicle was airborne, and could be transported by the C-130 Hercules aircraft, which facilitated its rapid deployment at great distances. There were three Air Defense Regiments equipped with Tracked Rapier within the Royal Artillery. Each regiment had four batteries, two equipped with twelve launchers in total and two more equipped with twelve Tracked Rapier Support Vehicles to reload the launchers, with twelve missiles each.
The firsts Tracked Rapier could only operate in good weather, but later they were equipped with thermal sights that allowed them all-time capacity without having assigned the Blindfire radars. The lack of space within the vehicle, forced the radars to be in towable modules like those of the Rapier system.
Tracked Rapier was ready for firing in less than 30 seconds since the alert was given. Also carries a system by which the search radar could be turned off easily in case of suspected an anti-radiation missiles attack. The commander had a device nicknamed “pointing stick” that allowed him to aim the entire battery at the same target.
Tracked Rapier system was deployed during the 1991 Gulf War, with Royal Artillery’s Regiments 12th and 16th belonging to BAOR based in Germany. They covered the British armoured advance and were replaced after this campaign by the new Alvis Stormer armed with Starstreak missiles.

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