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AIM-1XX Cuda Air to Air Missile (Lockheed Martin)

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Jeffry Fontaine:
New to me but the images that are available on the interweb show a missile airframe that appears to be smaller than the AIM-4 Falcon AAM of days long past. 

Link to page showing an F-35 lugging a dozen of these cute little things internally on the doors and weapons bay stores stations.

Click on image or html to read article

(Image source:

It appears that at this time there is no official AIM designation number.  One blog states that Lockheed Martin took out a trademark on the Cuda in 2011.  Adding further to the mystery, there is no mention of the missile at Designation Systems net.  So if anyone can fill in the blanks without getting carted off to the Ministry of Truth it would be appreciated.  Topic title is temporary until the AIM number is determined and will be changed when it is known.

AFAIK this concept is merely that, a concept.
Exposed as it was, as shown in the F-35 internally laden with missiles (what a beautiful sight, somehow the narrow, shallow bays of the -35 and -22  made me feel uncomfortable), it reminds me of a 90's concept, that of weapon miniaturization, which in its day, led to the development of the SDB, and other miniature marvels like the Raytheon STM-Small Tactical Munition (Pyros missile for UCAVs) and others.

It's no wonder that such mini weapons start to appear everywhere, In A2G, specifically tailored to increase stowed kills density aboard, and the PC reduced collateral damage.

I read in the article that the CUDA (still a reserved lockheed name) is a HTK (Hit-to-Kill) missile, so the absence of a warhead will make more space available for fuel and guidance-control, allowing a denser packing of munitions on board. Calls my attention what looks like a crown or cluster of maneuvering rockets near the nose, so the "dogfighting missile" qualification would apply. Calls my attention also that it is cited as being in the AMRAAM class, but with no warhead, I assume this is a big bullet with a lot of fuel inside, and makes me speculate on its range. Radar guided is also another tidbit that suggest LOBL (lock-on Before Launch) so as not to expose the plane for more than it takes for the launch event to occur.

As Jeffry suggests, I would not be surprised when this little BarraCUDA gets an XAIM or AIM designation.

My 2cents

Jeffry Fontaine:
From what I can determine from the news report, this missile contains no high-explosive warhead and instead relies on kinetic energy to destroy the target.  So what we are looking at is essentially the equivalent of a very smart precision-guided bullet that has to strike the opponent to inflict enough damage to render it ineffective to fight any further. 

Correct - that is what it seems to be.  It is also supposed to be in the AMRAAM class wrt range. 

Rafa, I also have the same idea as you re the "Cuda" name: that "Cuda" is a name short for "Barracuda" - I think the fish description is well suited: Barracudas are voracious, opportunistic predators, relying on surprise and short bursts of speed to overtake their prey.   

Jeffry Fontaine:
The one time I was hoping for a better match on the search and majority of the first page results from the search engine were showing links to almost every Plymouth (Chrysler) Barracuda/'Cuda that is still on the road. 

Dimensions on the thing are a bit sketchy but some are claiming a 7.0" (17.8 cm) diameter and an overall length of about 72.0" (183.0 cm).  So it is a bit longer than the AGM-114 Hellfire and about the same size as the AIM-4 Falcon.  With the current level of technology the guidance system will take up much less space so there will be more room for a larger motor section and a substantial increase in range.   


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