Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
|Copyright © 2003 Andreas Parsch|
In 1972, Hughes and the U.S. Navy started the Brazo program to test the concept of an air-to-air ARM (Anti-Radar Missile). The project name Brazo was actually a kind of pun, because "brazo" is the Spanish word for English "arm". The Brazo missiles were AIM-7 Sparrow airframes modified by Hughes with a new broad-band passive radar seeker developed by the Naval Electronics Center. Brazo was to home on the strong radar emissions of enemy interceptors like the MiG-25 Foxbat.
|Brazo (w/o wings and fins)|
In 1973, the USAF merged its own similar PAVE ARM program into Brazo and became responsible for test and evaluation. In April 1974, the first test flight of a Brazo against a BQM-34A Firebee target drone was successful. Four additional tests between October 1974 and January 1975, which included maximum-range head-on engagements, were also fully successful. However, the Brazo/PAVE ARM project did not result in a follow-on program to build an operational missile. One reason may have been that a pure passive radar guided missile is of somewhat limited utility. If the enemy uses fighters without a permanently emitting radar, Brazo would be useless.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for Brazo (based on AIM-7E Sparrow airframe):
|Length||3.66 m (144 in)|
|Wingspan||1.02 m (40 in)|
|Finspan||0.81 m (32 in)|
|Diameter||0.203 m (8 in)|
|Range||30 km (16 nm)|
|Propulsion||Rocketdyne MK 38/MK 52 solid rocket|
|Warhead||30 kg (65 lb) MK 38 continuous rod|
 Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979
 Norman Friedman: "US Naval Weapons", Conway Maritime Press, 1983
 R.T. Pretty, D.H.R. Archer (eds.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1972-73", Jane's, 1973
Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4