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ALARM

Old 4th Apr 2019, 21:46
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ALARM

I'm watching an episode of "Air Warriors" about electronic warfare, and I remember that the RAF at one time used a missile called Alarm.
is it still in use? If not, can anyone tell me wether it was good, bad or indifferent?
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 21:57
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It was very unreliable as it kept going off at the wrong time!
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 23:28
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I think the rocket motors in the ones the RAF had were most likely Life-ex and there was no money to replace them (seeing that the average life of one is around 12 years) and the Mk 2 version came out in the early 2000's it would be a good bet. RAF canned it in 2013. Saudis were still using it around 4 years ago.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 01:01
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ALARM? It rings me a bell...
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 07:00
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These things tend to hang around........
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 07:10
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALARM

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Old 5th Apr 2019, 09:23
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can anyone tell me wether it was good, bad or indifferent?
Weapon performance remains a sensitive topic even after withdrawal from service so you won’t (or at least, shouldn’t) get much of an answer on here, certainly on trial data. What I will say is that assessing its effectiveness on live operations was very difficult: as a long-ranged and quite slow-acting missile it did its business well out of sight, and no-one wanted to hang around near air defence systems to see what it was up to. If no-one got shot down while an ALARM was in the air, was that because it scared the SAM operators into turning their radars off, or destroyed the radar, or simply because no-one would have been shot down anyway? A great imponderable. HARM was/is different in that regard because it did/does its business quickly (the clue is in the name...) and so is perhaps easier to correlate a shot with an outcome. Enough said I feel.

Last edited by Easy Street; 5th Apr 2019 at 09:38.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 09:43
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can anyone tell me whether it was good, bad or indifferent?
It was a bit hit and miss..
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 12:26
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Either way, what do we use now to do the job, seeing as the RAF's offensive weaponry consists of Brimstone, Storm Shadow and Paveway IV?
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 12:31
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Thanks for the replies. I understand the sensitivity, and I was aware of its loitering capability, just didnt know why it wasnt kept on if it was effective.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 12:43
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
Either way, what do we use now to do the job, seeing as the RAF's offensive weaponry consists of Brimstone, Storm Shadow and Paveway IV?
Other people's missiles
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 12:59
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The 'loitering' capability under the 'chute really drove the design of the weapon. Getting a burnable chute out of the back of rocket motor was quite a trick. The warhead also had to be quite nasty to achieve effects from a missile that was designed not to directly hit the emitter.

Arguably its best feature was when used in tandem with HARM capable aircraft, giving the SAM crews quite a complicated picture. Add in the odd LO platform and some jamming, both stand-off and stand-in and the overall effect was rather good.

The worst feature, especially when not operating in a mixed package was the speed of the thing. More of a SARM than a HARM, to the point that it was easy to arrive over the target well before the missile you fired earlier.


As ever, no comments on the EW side as those elements live on even after the demise of the missile.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 15:23
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From memory.....it is a long time ago! The first packages went in with the ALARM aircraft at the front however all this did was alert the locals as the rockets came off the aircraft that there were inbounds. So we modified the packages and the ALARM aircraft went down the back and fired from there.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 20:17
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Originally Posted by LincsFM View Post
It was very unreliable as it kept going off at the wrong time!
suggestion: visit urologist or marriage counselor, as appropriate.
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 20:10
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Weren't the RAF Tornado F3s rebranded as EF3s for a short while?
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 21:54
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Originally Posted by TwoTunnels View Post
Weren't the RAF Tornado F3s rebranded as EF3s for a short while?
Not all F.3s, 11 Sqn trialled ALARM for a short period (12 months or so?), the results were impressive, or so it has been said, with the F.3s standard RHAW kit being well up to job of the SEAD mission...

-RP
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 08:57
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Davef68,

"..​​​​​​what do we use now to do the job, seeing as the RAF's offensive weaponry consists of Brimstone, Storm Shadow and Paveway IV?"


I guess we use Brimstone, Storm Shadow and Paveway IV...
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 10:55
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there's long been talk of using a version of METEOR as a very high speed ARM. how much could be achieved by using OTS componants in the style of SPEAR CAP 2 to 3 is a matter for technical discussion, but there appears to be an acceptance at a political level that SPEAR CAP 3 isn't the answer. part of the answer, but its not enough.
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 04:36
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Since it's retired now, does anybody know its max range?

I understand the answer to that would be a "no comment" if it was still in use.... so you don't know if you don't ask!
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 06:55
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According to the Wiki link I provided earlier, the operational range is quoted as: 93 Kilometres (58 miles)
Don't have any idea as to the veracity of Wiki in this matter.
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