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Firestreak fired from a Javelin F.(A.W.) Mk.9.


The Firestreak missile (scale is approximate)

The Firestreak is a British Infrared homing air-to-air missile. it was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The Firestreak is a large missile, with a massive 22.7 kg warhead. The Firestreak is a very early air-to-air missile design; It was Britain's first operational heat seeking missile. It has slightly better manoeuvrability than other early heat seeking missiles, and a much larger warhead, and is otherwise comparable in terms of speed and range.

Effective damage

The Firestreak has a massive 22.7 kg warhead, one of the highest of any air-to-air missile in the game, making it capable of outright destroying any target it gets a direct hit on. The warhead has a larger proximity fuse setting than other heat seeking missiles (10 m as opposed to the more standard 5 m), this helps slightly offset the missiles poor manoeuvrability as any aircraft caught in the proximity fuse range is likely to suffer critical damage due to the large explosive mass.

Comparison with analogues

The Firestreak has a warhead of 22.7 kilograms explosive mass, more than four times the payload of the AIM-9B, which only contains 4.5 kilograms of explosives. It is also slightly more manoeuvrable than the AIM-9B with a 15 G max overload compared to the AIM-9B's 10 G.

Usage in battles

This missile is not agile. Do not use them on targets that are manoeuvrable as they will easily evade it. Instead, use them on bombers or aircraft which have no energy left to manoeuvre as it will be more difficult for them to evade the missile.

As this missile seeks infrared radiation (IR), be aware of locking onto other sources of heat which can throw the missile off course such as other teammates, flares and of course, the sun.

Pros and cons


  • Has the second largest warhead of any air to air missile
  • The IR seeker has a fairly wide field of view when slaved to the Javelin or Lightning's radar
  • Highly receptive proximity fuse
  • 15G overload


  • Slightly lower velocity than other missiles


De Havilland's Firestreak was the first British infrared guided missile to enter service, arming the Gloster Javelin, de Havilland Sea Vixen, and, later, the English Electric Lightning.

Development was the result of a somewhat confused post-war process that started in 1945 with a very ambitious design known as "Red Hawk". When this proved too complicated, a simpler system known as "Blue Sky" was proposed in 1949 and eventually emerged in 1956 as Fireflash. Shortly after Fireflash development started, advances in infrared guidance suggested a new look at the original Red Hawk concept, and eventually a specification emerged as "Blue Jay".

Blue Jay began development in November 1951. Many of the technologies were entirely new, and development took considerable time. One significant issue was the size and power requirements of the tube-based electronics, which took up much of the forward quarter of the missile body. This left no room for the warhead, which had to be moved to the rear of the missile, thereby taking up the area that would normally be used for the control fin actuators. These were instead placed in the electronics section, operating the rear-mounted fins using long pushrods. To further complicate it, the power for the actuators were air bottles in the tail. The layout was quite complicated.

The first launches took place in 1955, and it entered service with the RAF in 1957 and the Royal Navy in 1958. Designed specifically for use against bombers and other large targets, it was not particularly manoeuvrable and its overall performance was less than that of the AIM-9 Sidewinder that had entered US service the previous year. It made up for this somewhat with the use of a very large warhead, well over double the weight of Sidewinder's.

Several minor modifications to the basic design were suggested but not implemented. These eventually led to a much more capable upgrade, the Hawker Siddeley Red Top.


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

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the weapon;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

AAM  AIM-7C Sparrow · AIM-7D Sparrow · AIM-7E Sparrow · AIM-7E-2 Sparrow
  AIM-9B Sidewinder · AIM-9C Sidewinder · AIM-9D Sidewinder · AIM-9E Sidewinder · AIM-9G Sidewinder · AIM-9J Sidewinder · AIM-9L Sidewinder · AIM-9P Sidewinder
  AIM-92 Stinger
AGM  AGM-12B Bullpup · AGM-12C Bullpup · AGM-22 · AGM-65A · AGM-65B · AGM-114B Hellfire · AGM-114K Hellfire II · BGM-71D TOW-2
AAM  AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder
AGM  HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · PARS 3 LR
SAM  Roland
AAM  9M39 Igla · R-3R · R-3S · R-13M1 · R-23R · R-23T · R-60 · R-60M
AGM  9K127 Vikhr · 9M17M Falanga · 9M17P Falanga-PV · 9M120 Ataka · 9M120-1 Ataka
  Kh-23M · Kh-25 · Kh-25ML · Kh-29L · Kh-29T · Kh-66
ATGM  3M7 · 9M14 · 9M113 Konkurs · 9M114 Shturm · 9M123 · 9M133
SAM  9M311 · 9M311-1M
AAM  Fireflash · Firestreak · Red Top · Skyflash · SRAAM
ATGM  BAe Swingfire · MILAN · MILAN 2 · ZT3
SAM  Starstreak
ATGM  Type 64 MAT · Type 79
SAM  Type 91
AAM  PL-2 · PL-5B
ATGM  HJ-73 · HJ-73E
SAM  HN-6 ·
SAM  Mistral SATCP
AAM  AA-20 Nord · Matra R530 · Matra R530E · Matra R550 Magic 1 · Mistral · Shafrir
AGM  9M14-2 Malyutka-2 · AS-20 Nord · AS-30 Nord · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3
SAM  Roland · VT1
AAM  RB24 · RB24J · RB71
AGM  Rb05A
ATGM  Rbs 55 · Rbs 56
SAM  Rbs 70
  AAM = Air-to-Air Missile   AGM = Air-to-Ground Missile   ATGM = Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Ground mounts)   SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile