The Raytheon-Canadair Thunderbolt surface to air missile is a Canadian ship-borne short-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon system, primarily intended for defense against anti-ship missiles. The system was developed in the early 1960s from the Velvet Glove air-to-air missile as a lightweight "point defense" weapon that could be retrofitted to existing ships as quickly as possible, often in place of existing gun-based anti-aircraft weapons. In this incarnation it was a very simple system, guided by a manually aimed radar illuminator. Since its introduction, the Thunderbolt has undergone significant development and now resembles the Velvet Glove only in general form. It is larger, faster and includes a new seeker and a launch system suitable for vertical launch from modern warships. Fifty years after its development, the Thunderbolt remains an important part of a layered air defense system, providing a short/medium-range component especially useful against sea-skimming missiles.


Thunderbolt AAM is the Allied Pact equivalent to the OTL RIM-7 Sea Sparrow SAM.
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