Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2003-2005 Andreas Parsch

Loral (Ford Aeronutronics) HAVE DASH II

Note: I don't have any first-hand printed sources on HAVE DASH available. Therefore I had to rely on Internet sources (q.v. under "Main Sources" below), which may or may not be accurate. However, it has been indicated by someone who was involved with the program, that the information is essentially correct.

In the early 1990s, the USAF studied advanced air-to-air missile technologies under the HAVE DASH program. It is not known if HAVE DASH (I) itself resulted in any flying hardware. However, in 1990 the Aeronutronics division of Ford Aerospace (which was later acquired by Loral) was awarded a contract to build flight-test missiles to evaluate technologies for a stealthy long-range air-to-air missile under the HAVE DASH II program. To ensure a low radar cross section (RCS), the HAVE DASH II design featured a radar-absorbing graphite composite fuselage with a flat-surfaced trapezoidal cross-section for the whole body except for the radome. Stability and control was provided by four tail fins. The shape allowed the missile to be carried externally flush on the carrier aircraft, thereby minimizing its attribution to total RCS. The stealthy missile would also be less detectable by the attacked aircraft's warning sensors.

Image: (anonymous source, unknown origin)

The shape of the HAVE DASH II missile provided additional body lift, and this, combined with the fin configuration and a new bank-to-turn autopilot, permitted maneuvering at 50g (versus 35g for "conventional" missiles). The missile was to use an inertial navigation system and a dual-mode (infrared/active-radar) seeker. The airframe was designed to accomodate an air-breating engine (most likely an integral rocket/ramjet), but the HAVE DASH II test vehicles were reportedly flown with solid-fueled MK 58 rocket motors of surplus AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles.

Drawing: Loral

The HAVE DASH II program was apparently terminated after the flights of the test vehicles (most likely in the 1992/93 time frame). No reliable information about the level of success is available.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for HAVE DASH II:

Length3.6 m (12 ft)
Weight180 kg (400 lb)
SpeedMach 4
Range50 km (30 miles)
PropulsionMK 58 MOD 5 solid-fueled rocket

Main Sources

[1] Excerpts from "Air-to Air Stealth Missile", article in Naval Institute Proceedings, October 90; posted on Usenet and archived here
[2] Other postings mentioning HAVE DASH, archived here and here

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 16 January 2005