The Red Top is a British Infrared homing air-to-air missile, it was introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury", along with the Lightning F.6 (the only aircraft which currently carries it). The Red Top is one of the largest air-to-air missiles in the game, it is longer than any other air-to-air missile, while being second only to the Matra R530E in terms of weight, and having largest explosive mass (31 kg) of any air-to-air missile.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the missile.
The Red Top's warhead has the largest explosive mass of any air-to-air missile in the game, with 31 kg of TNT. This makes the Warhead very powerful and coupled with a wide proximity fuse range gives it a very large blast radius. On account of the massive warhead Red Top detonations tend to be immediately fatal to aircraft within the blast radius. However there are times (usually when the enemy aircraft is only just within the proximity fuse range and moving away from the missile) where enemy vehicles can survive, albeit usually with (often critical) damage.
Comparison with analogues
The missile most comparable to the Red Top is it's direct predecessor, the Firestreak. Both are British missiles were designed to be used in the interception of Soviet bombers, and feature large warheads with reasonable overloads and uncaged seekers which support radar slaving.The Firestreak has better initial acceleration than he Red Top, and possibly better range in some circumstances, however the red Top has a much better seeker, being able to follow targets better, and perform attacks from the side of targets much better. Compared to most other missiles the Red Top has fairly poor range, particularly when fired from directly behind targets, however this can be compensated for my shooting at targets from the side. The 16 G overload is the same as that of the AIM-9D, and is better than most early missiles, however it is inferior to later missiles such as the AIM-9J, R-60 and Matra R550.
Usage in battles
Describe situations when you would utilise this missile in-game (vehicle, pillbox, base, etc)
Pros and cons
- Has an uncaged seeker with wide gimbal limits
- Can lock on to targets from the side aspect very well
- Can be extremely hard to dodge when fired from side aspect
- Massive warhead with large blast radius
- Supports radar slaving
- Performs poorly when fired from directly behind an opponent (unless you have a speed advantage)
- Loses speed very quickly after the motor burns out
- Overall poor range at low altitude (can be mitigated by firing while approaching the target from the side)
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: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Weapon-name)/History) 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
An excellent addition to the article would be a video guide, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.