Rapier Field Standard C (FSC)

- , October 2, 2018

Quick Facts

Variants Rapier Field Standard A

Rapier Field Standard B

Rapier 90

Role and Mobility Low-Medium Altitude Air Defense; Road-Mobile
Interceptors and Range Rapier Mk2 Missile; 8 km
Sensors Dagger Target Acquisition and Surveillance Radar

Passive Infra-Red Electro-Optic Sensor

Successor Identification Friend or Foe (SIFF)

Range: 15 km

Targets Supersonic, Low-Level, High-Maneuverability Aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Supersonic Missiles, Cruise Missiles, and Fixed/Rotary-Wing Aircraft
Status/Exports Operational; Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Zambia
Designer/Producer MBDA Missile Systems


The Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) is a short-range, low-level air defense (LLAD) system that was developed by European-based MBDA Missile Systems. It utilizes the Rapier Mk2 missile, a supersonic and highly maneuverable surface-to-air missile (SAM, which uses a fragmentation warhead that is detonated by a proximity fuse.[i] For targeting and surveillance, Rapier uses the Dagger and Blindfire radars. Dagger operates in the J-Band, can detect 75+ threats per second, and is able to switch wavelength frequencies quickly.[ii] Blindfire operations can operate in the F-Band frequency, but can also be used as a passive infra-red electro-optic sensor.[iii] Furthermore, all FSC systems are equipped with Successor Identification Friend or Foe (SIFF) technology to determine if aircraft within the radar’s range are allied or hostile.

Strategic Implications

The FSC is particularly strategic because of its ability to intercept supersonic missiles and cruise missiles, providing the operating country with another layer in its overall air defense. Additionally, the FSC operates 24/7 in all types of weather to provide constant, if limited area air defense. It has the ability to engage two targets at once and is compact, making it suitable for worldwide operations.[iv]


2020: Expected Retirement

1996: The Rapier FSC entered service[v]

1992: Production of the Rapier FSC began

1973: The first Rapier Model reached initial operational capability (IOC)[vi]

1960s: Development of the Rapier began to replace the L/70 Bofors Air Defense Systems[vii]

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    [iv] https://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/artillery-and-air-defence/