What is the Air Dominance & Suppression (ADS) Team?

The Air Dominance and Suppression (ADS) Project Team, part of the Weapons Operating Centre, was formed by the merger of the former Air to Air Missile (AAM) and Surface Attack (SA) Project Teams in November 2014.

The ADS Project Team is responsible for:

  • Meteor is the next generation Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile developed to meet the requirements of six nations (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and UK) that will equip Typhoon, Lightning II and Rafale aircraft, and is in-service on Gripen aircraft. Meteor will offer a multi-shot capability against long-range highly manoeuvring targets in a heavy electronic counter measures environment.
  • AMRAAM is a US-supplied air-to-air missile that has been in RAF service since 1998. This missile is fully integrated onto the Typhoon; it is fast, relatively small and light-weight, with reasonable capabilities against low-altitude targets.
  • ASRAAM is a heat-seeking short-range air-to- air weapon that is in operational service with the RAF’s Tornado and Typhoon aircraft and Australian F/A-18s, and is undergoing integration on the Lightning II. ASRAAM’s unique capabilities enable it to defeat short-range missiles, existing or planned, in close-in combat.
  • Sidewinder is a short-range air-to-air missile which has been withdrawn from service. The Sidewinder Tactical Missiles are in use for pilot training on Hawk T1 and Hawk T2 aircraft.
  • Rangeless Airborne Instrumented Debriefing System (RAIDS) is a missile-like pod (not a weapon) that allows for flight missions to be accurately debriefed.
  • SPEAR Capability 3 is a new 100 kg class weapon being developed to be the primary air-to-ground armament for Lightning II from 2021, and optimised for internal carriage. SPEAR Capability 3 will provide the capability to destroy/defeat a wide range of targets at range, including mobile and re-locatable targets, in all weathers day and night, in complex environments under tight rules of engagement (ROE).
  • Storm Shadow Weapon System (SSWS) provides the RAF with a stand-off, precision strike capability that is deployable day or night in most weather and operational conditions against heavily defended and high-value targets. It is launched from Tornado GR4/4A and, soon, Typhoon aircraft.
  • SPEAR Capability 4 is the Mid-Life Refurbishment (MLR) project for the SSWS. A Memorandum of Understanding is in place to continue co-operative working with the French during demonstration and manufacturing.


Doing Business with Defence Handbook. Edition 24 (2018).


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