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Seasparrow Missile (RIM-7)

Last updated: 21 Oct 2022

The SEASPARROW Missile is a radar-guided, surface-to-air missile based on the Navy and Marine Corps AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile. The SEASPARROW has a cylindrical body with four mid-body wings and four tail fins. The U.S. Navy employs the RIM-7 Missile aboard three ship classes (CVN, LHA, and LHD) using the MK 57 NATO SEASPARROW Missile System (NSSMS) and MK 29 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS).

SEASPARROW is a short-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar uplinks. The missile provides reliable ship self-defense capability against a variety of air and surface threats, including high-speed, low-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs). It is widely deployed by U.S., NATO, and other international partner navies.
Originally developed as an air-to-air missile by Sperry and the U.S. Navy, SEASPARROW's later versions were developed and produced by Raytheon and General Dynamics. The surface-to-air capability was developed in the early 1970s to provide self-defense capability for U.S. and other NATO surface combatants. SEASPARROW is launched from the Mk 29 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) and the Mk 48 Guided Missile Vertical Launching System (GMVLS).
U.S. Navy
General Characteristics
Primary Function: Surface-to-air, radar-guided missile.
Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems and General Dynamics
Date Deployed: 1976
Unit Cost: $165,400
Propulsion: Alliant TechSystems (Hercules) Mark 58 solid-propellant rocket motor
Length: 12 feet (3.64 meters)
Diameter: 8 inches (20.3 cm)
Wingspan: 3 feet 4 inches (one meter)
Weight: Launch weight is approximately 500 pounds (225 kg)
Speed: Classified
Range: Classified
Guidance System: Semi-active on continuous wave or pulsed Doppler radar energy.
Platforms: Navy Surface Platforms: CVN, LHA, and LHD classes.
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead, 90 pounds (40.5 kg).

Point of Contact
Naval Sea Systems Command
Office of Corporate Communication

Washington, D.C. 20376

(202) 781-4123


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