Tigercat Short Range Anti-Aircraft Missile

The Shorts Tigercat is the land-use variant of the popular and widely used Shorts Seacat anti-aircraft missile, developed and manufactured by Short Brothers, Harland and Marconi.

Tigercat short-range anti-aircraft missile system outside the Heritage Centre
Tigercat short-range anti-aircraft missile system outside the Heritage Centre.

The Tigercat Short Range Anti-Aircraft Missile was a private development of the Seacat and was tested officially and brought into service by the RAF Regiment on 16th November 1967 with 48 Squadron being re-equipped with 12 launcher units. 48 Squadron retained the Shorts Tigercat missile until 1978 when the RAF Regiment adopted the Rapier missile.

The system is divided between two trailers towed by Land Rovers. One for the missile launcher and one for the optical sight and control gear. The control gear affords the operator Control Line Of Sight adjustment for the missile once it has been launched. An enhanced version of this system utilises radar for blind dark firing capability.

The Tigercat missile itself is subsonic and powered by a two-stage solid fuel motor: it is steered in flight by four swept wings, the adjustment of which are controlled remotely by radio from the operator who would have line of sight of both the missile and the target.