4 Feet 10 Inches
Body Diameter
7.5 Inches
Wing Span
2 Feet 2 Inches
206 pounds
Weight at launch
130 pounds
Burnt at launch
102 pounds
cordite boost and sustain motor
Radio Controlled Link 'L' Band
Internal Controls
Graze and Proximity
Fuze Timing
Inertia and Fixed Time Mechanical

The Seacat Missile System, which is now out of service, was a short range sub-sonic guided missile for use on ships in self defence of low level air attack. It was fitted to all of our Type 12 Frigates (later designated River Class Destroyer Escorts) now all decommissioned and out of service, and brought the RAN into the 'Missile Age'.

The system was controlled by a visual command link method involving the use of a human operator (aimer). The operator acquired the target in his field of binocular view and guided the missile into co-incidence with the target by means of signals transmitted over a radio link.

The principle of the operation is that after the target is acquired in the conventional manner either through the Gun Direction System or independently, the missile is launched into the field of binocular view of the Seacat Missile Aimer sitting in the Seacat Director who is looking along the Line Of Sight to the target.

Once the missile is 'gathered' by the aimer he steers it to the target by manipulating a small joystick (or "tit"), with his thumb by applying left, right and up, down demands on the joystick. (via a UHF Radio Control Link).

A flare at the rear of the missile assists the Aimer to keep the missile in sight. When the missile approaches within range of the target a proximity fuse explodes the 40 LB CE Rod Warhead.The missile's powered Time Of Flight (TOF) is approx. 15 seconds, with a further 'coasting' control of approx 5 seconds.

Only one missile can be controlled at a time.

Seacat Aimers were provided by members of the RAN Gunnery Branch and each qualified sailor war a Cuff Rate on their sleeve. Some well known RAN Seacat Aimers were - 'Lucky' Logan, 'Hoss' Potter, Paul Rowan, Dave Crockford, 'Gus' Ridley, Bobby Wass.

The above photo was taken and sent in by Paul Campbell, a Weapons Systems Electrician, and it was a quite famous shot for its day appearing in many well known publications and magazines.

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