Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch


The designation RIM-101A was allocated by the U.S. Navy in April 1973 to a new ship-based tube-launched surface-to-air missile. It was to be ejected from the tube by a solid-propellent charge before sustainer motor ignition. The RIM-101 was to be a semi-active radar (I-band) homing missile with IR guidance for terminal homing. It was to use an active optical fuze, a warhead with PBX-W107 explosive, and a rocket motor similar to that of the FIM-43 Redeye missile. The RIM-101 program was apparently cancelled early in the design or development phase.

Note: There is some confusion regarding the RIM-101A. Several sources plainly say it's the Sea Sparrow missile, later designated RIM-7. However, neither the time frame (1973) nor the missile description (terminal IR homing) fit the RIM-7. What adds to the confusion is the fact that the USAF version of the AIM-7D Sparrow was originally designated AIM-101. However, this "101" was a pre-1963 designator and is totally unrelated to the 1973 RIM-101 designation. The most plausible explanation seems to be that the RIM-101A was indeed related to the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile (probably an advanced development to replace the original RIM-7E/H), which was eventually cancelled in favor of the cheaper alternative of adapting the AIM-7F for shipboard use as RIM-7F.


I have no details about the configuration of the RIM-101A missile.

Main Sources

[1] Department of Defense Missile Nomenclature Records

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Last Updated: 24 December 2002