AIM-7D Sparrow

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This page is about the American air-to-air missile AIM-7D Sparrow. For the other versions, see AIM-7 Sparrow (Family).


The AIM-7D Sparrow missile (scale is approximate)

The AIM-7D Sparrow is an American semi-active radar-homing air-to-air missile. It was introduced in Update "Raining Fire".

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

Missile characteristics
Mass 197 kg
Guidance SARH
Signal CW
Lock range 15 km
Launch range 45 km
Maximum speed 4.0 M
Maximum overload 15 G
Missile guidance time 40 secs
Explosive mass 11.52 kg TNTeq

Effective damage

The warhead of the AIM-7D Sparrow is large, the AIM-7D packs enough explosive to destroy almost any aircraft caught in its blast. Even those lucky enough to not be blown to bits will certainly take a significant amount of critical damage.

Comparison with analogues

The Soviet SARH missiles most comparable with the AIM-7D are the R-23R and the R-3R.

The R-23R is a similar long-range SARH missile mounted on the MiG-23 Flogger. It carries a warhead almost twice as powerful (20.8 kg TNTeq). The R-23R has a higher maximum overload (20 G), making it more effective against manoeuvring targets. The Sparrow however has a higher maximum speed (4.0 M vs 3.0 M), allowing it to hit targets faster.

The R-3R is a comparable Soviet SARH missile meant for short-to-medium range engagements, and is primarily mounted on MiG-21 Fishbed jets. Although it cannot compete with the range (9 km vs 45 km) or speed (1.7 M vs 4.0 M) of the Sparrow, it is much more manoeuvrable, making it better in a head-on and in dogfights.

Usage in battles

The AIM-7D is primarily used by the F-4C Phantom II. Due to the somewhat short firing time of the rocket motor, long-range engagements near the advertised maximum range are really only possible at high altitude, where the reduced air drag gives the missile a much better acceleration.

The AIM-7D can engage targets at low altitude, but it will not be nearly as fast as at higher altitude, and will decelerate quicker as well, meaning it cannot be used at its maximum range. Manoeuvrability is not the AIM-7D's strong suit, and therefore it can be defeated by manoeuvring alone. A strong lock is required in order to guarantee that the missile tracks, otherwise it will self destruct soon after launch due to failing to find its lock.

Pros and cons


  • Can be launched from long ranges
  • Can catch opponents off-guard and can be launched in head-ons


  • Needs a radar lock, meaning it doesn't work very well on targets near the ground due to ground clutter that interferes with radar
  • Not fire-and-forget, you need to follow the target to keep a radar lock until the moment the missile hits
  • Has a big guidance delay around 2.5 second and gives time target to escape FOV
  • Has a tendency to not track and just blow itself up a few seconds after it's fired
  • Low speed compared to other SARH missiles and only burns around 3 seconds; stalls pretty quick


Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of the weapon in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the weapon and adding a block "/History" (example: and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Related development

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

AAM  AIM-54A Phoenix · AIM-54C Phoenix · ATAS (AIM-92)
Sparrow  AIM-7C · AIM-7D · AIM-7E · AIM-7E-2 · AIM-7F · AIM-7M
Sidewinder  AIM-9B · AIM-9C · AIM-9D · AIM-9E · AIM-9G · AIM-9H · AIM-9J · AIM-9L · AIM-9M · AIM-9P
AGM  AGM-22 · APKWS II (M151) · APKWS II (M282) · BGM-71D TOW-2
Bullpup  AGM-12B Bullpup · AGM-12C Bullpup
Hellfire  AGM-114B Hellfire · AGM-114K Hellfire II
Maverick  AGM-65A · AGM-65B · AGM-65D
TOW  BGM-71 · BGM-71A · BGM-71B · BGM-71C
SAM  FIM-92 Stinger · MIM-72 · MIM146
Naval SAM  RIM-24A
AAM  AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder · Flz Lwf 63/80
AGM  9M14M Malyutka · Flz Lwf LB 82 · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · PARS 3 LR
AShM  AS.34 Kormoran
SAM  Roland
AAM  9M39 Igla · R-3R · R-3S · R-13M1 · R-23R · R-23T · R-24R · R-24T · R-27ER(1) · R-27ET(1) · R-27R(1) · R-27T(1) · R-60 · R-60M · R-60MK · R-73(E)
AGM  9K127 Vikhr · 9M17M Falanga · 9M120 Ataka · 9M120-1 Ataka
  Kh-23M · Kh-25 · Kh-25ML · Kh-29L · Kh-29T · Kh-29TE · Kh-29TD · Kh-66 · S-25L
ATGM  3M7 · 9M14 · 9M113 Konkurs · 9M114 Shturm · 9M123 Khrizantema · 9M133 · 9M133FM3 · 9M133M-2
SAM  95Ya6 · 9M311 · 9M311-1M · 9M331 · 9M37M
Naval SAM  Volna-M
AAM  Fireflash · Firestreak · Red Top · Skyflash · Skyflash SuperTEMP · SRAAM
AGM  AS.12 · ZT-6 Mokopa
AShM  AJ.168
ATGM  BAe Swingfire · MILAN · MILAN 2 · ZT3
SAM  Starstreak
AGM  Ki-148 I-Go Model 1B
ATGM  Type 64 MAT · Type 79 Jyu-MAT
SAM  Type 81 SAM-1C · Type 91
AAM  PL-2 · PL-5B · PL-5C · PL-7 · PL-8 · TY-90
AGM  AKD-9 · AKD-10 · HJ-8A · HJ-8C · HJ-8E · HJ-8H
ATGM  302 · HJ-73 · HJ-73E · HJ-9 · QN201DD · QN502CDD
AAM  Aspide-1A
Naval AShM  Nettuno
SAM  Mistral SATCP
AAM  AA-20 Nord · Matra R511 · Matra R530 · Matra R530E · Matra Super 530D · Matra Super 530F · Matra R550 Magic 1 · Matra R550 Magic 2 · Mistral
AGM  9M14-2 Malyutka-2 · AS-20 Nord · AS-30 Nord · AS-30L Nord · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · Spike ER
SAM  Roland · VT1
AAM  RB24 · RB24J · RB71 · RB 74 · RB 74(M)
AGM  Rb05A · RB 53 Bantam · RB 55B Heli TOW · RB 55C Heli TOW · RB 75
ATGM  Rbs 55 · Rbs 56
SAM  Rbs 70
AAM  Shafrir · Shafrir 2 · Python 3
ATGM  Spike-MR
  AAM = Air-to-Air Missile   AGM = Air-to-Ground Missile   AShM = Anti-Ship Missile   ATGM = Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Ground mounts)   SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile