Newark Air Museum has announced it is set to display what is believed to be the only complete example of the Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) ground-based air defence system.
The type’s manufacturer – MBDA UK Limited – has entered a partnership with the Nottinghamshire museum for the latter to loan the now deactivated and inert machinery, which was delivered to Newark on June 27, 2022.
Rapier entered service in 1971 and remains in use around the world. In Britain, it was used by RAF Regiments to protect airfields before this responsibility was transferred to the British Army, while it was also used to safeguard the 2012 London Olympics and even appear in the 2014 film Kingsmen: The Secret Service.
This new exhibit complements the museum’s Collecting Policy, specifically for ‘displaying equipment used for the maintenance of aircraft and for the running of airfields’. Undercover display space has been found in the southwestern area of Display Hangar 2, which is also home to the RAF Regiment displays and RAF Explosive Ordnance Disposal exhibit.
Museum curator, Mike Smith said: “We are excited and extremely proud to have secured the loan of such a unique set of objects for the collection. We are especially grateful for the assistance provided by the staff at MBDA, in helping us to establish this loan agreement and to complete the safe move of this Rapier Field Standard C System to Newark.”
MBDA advisor and retired RAF Air Commodore Al Byford added: “We are proud of our heritage of producing equipment for our Armed Forces that protected our troops, airfields and the UK. Equipment such as this Rapier FSC is of historical military significance and it is only right we share it with Newark Air Museum, so those that are interested in such piece of RAF history can visit and see it preserved.”
Visit: www.newarkairmuseum.org for more information.
In kit form, Rapier has been represented by Firing Line in 1/35, Gran Ltd in 1/72 and Trident Miniatures in 1/87.
All images via Howard Heeley, Newark Air Museum.