Blue Dolphin / Blue Jay MkV


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4 June 2006
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Proposed variants included Blue Dolphin, which was also called Blue Jay MkV. This was to have an active continuous wave radar seeker and was intended for Sea Vixen and TSR.2. Blue Jay MkV was similar in capability to the US AIM-7 Sparrow.

Would an active seeker have been reliable?
I don't think Blue Dolphin was to use an active seeker, but rather semi-active. I've read some stuff in the PRO records on Blue Jay Mk 5 and several different seekers were looked at.

Chris Gibson's forthcoming BSP 4 will shed more light on this ;)

Would an active seeker have been reliable?
No, not with that technology.

The bigger Red Dean had serious issues with ground returns, and its cancellation meant we will never know if that could have been sorted out. And Overscan is right; of that generation of missiles, only Red Dean ever had an active seeker (and Red Hebe never made it to testing of any kind AFAIK).

Sparrow II was also intended to be active-homing, and that never went anywhere either.

The first reliable AAM to use autonomous active homing was Phoenix, a much bigger weapon than the Blue Jay series and belonging to a different, more advanced generation of development. The British never fielded a SARH AAM entirely their own, and only got their act together with Skyflash far too late for it ever to feed back to the Blue Jay family program. By the time Skyflash came along, the only fighter still using Firestreak/Red Top was the Lightning, which had no space or weight left to add an illuminator for the missiles.

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