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« The MIM-145 Defender Surface-Air-Missile system was designed to protect NATO airspace against hostile intrusion. Typically found near high-value assets such as airfields and military bases to protect against long-range aerial threats. Armed with long-range Defender missiles, and connected to AN/MPQ-105 radar via data-link, this system is a serious threat to any opponent.
Field Manual

MIM-145 Defender
Faction Icon-side-blufor.png NATO
Icon-side-greenfor.png LDF
Type Heavy Anti-Aircraft System
Variants None
Jets dlc logo.png

The MIM-145 Defender is a heavy anti-aircraft system used both by NATO forces and the Livonian Defense Force in ArmA 3. It was added as part of the Jets DLC.


The Defender is a long-range, all-altitude, and all-weather air defence system used to counter enemy aircraft.

Primarily employed to defend NATO installations from air attacks, the Defender provides superior AA coverage compared to the smaller (but mobile) IFV-6a Cheetah. A single missile from the Defender is always enough to critically damage, if not outright destroy, any fixed/rotary-wing aircraft.

Missiles away.

Every individual battery has four launch tubes which each contain a single radar-guided, surface-to-air missile, combined for a total of four missiles per launcher. It can be "controlled" with a UAV Terminal, and is always paired alongside unarmed AN/MPQ-105 radar sites which are designed to work in tandem with the launcher.

This is because aside from data link capability, the Defender does not have any sensors by itself. Instead, the AN/MPQ-105 remotely provides the Defender with an active radar. This allows it to acquire and launch its SAMs against distant aircraft without having to expose the launcher's position (electronically).

With smart positioning of each radar site, a single Defender battery placed in the centre of this "network" can cover an entire area extending out to 16 km. However, it should be noted that this does require each radar site to be within range in order to share information with the Defender.

At the same time, each radar site is incredibly vulnerable to hackers and being detected by anti-radiation passive radars the moment they are activated. This makes it paramount that crews at each site only turn on their radars when an attack is expected, and always have armed escorts nearby to deter potential saboteurs.


  • Olive: Dark olive green paint scheme. Applied onto LDF batteries.
  • Sand: Pattern-less dark tan paint scheme. Exclusive to Mediterranean NATO forces.


The Defender by itself does not have access to any sensors aside from the ability to utilise data link. It exclusively relies on other systems in order to acquire enemy aircraft:

Data Link

The Defender is data link-capable with all sensor-equipped vehicles and aircraft, but is specifically designed to interface with the AN/MPQ-105 radar. It is able to receive (not transmit) target location information from any site within 16 km range of the Defender's current position.

Note that while the launcher itself is theoretically capable of locking onto targets at an unlimited distance, it is actually limited to a hard range cap of 16 km. Beyond this distance, it will not be capable of locking onto a target even if it can track the target via data link.

Teal = Active Radar

Active Radar (AN/MPQ-105)

The AN/MPQ-105 site is the primary component of the Defender system, and provides the launcher with the ability to lock onto targets.

It has a maximum detection range of 16 km against aerial targets and 12 km against ground targets. It has a horizontal and vertical sweep angle of 120 degrees, but is dependent on where the radar dome is currently facing.

All targets can be identified once they are within 12 km range of the radar site. It is able to track targets moving at speeds of up to 5,000 km/h.

AN/MPQ-105: Passive Radar

Its passive sensor has a 360 degree detection radius and a target recognition range of 12 km.

AN/MPQ-105: Data Link

The AN/MPQ-105 is data link-capable, and can transmit the locations of radar contacts to all friendly forces within 16 km range.

Missile specifications

Damage type Base damage value
High-Explosive 400

Defender missiles are exclusively radar-guided and rely on other Active Radar-based units to track targets via Data Link. They have lock-on after launch (LOAL) capability.

Both the launcher and missile seeker have a lock-on cone of 120 degrees (horizontally and vertically). They can only lock onto aircraft that are travelling at speeds of up to 2,800 km/h, and have a maximum tracking distance of 16 km which cannot be exceeded even if the battery can "see" beyond that range. The seeker has a 5% chance of losing lock to chaff-based defensive countermeasures.

The missiles are hard launched with an initial velocity of 45 m/s. The missile's motor will require a further 20 seconds of flight time to attain a top speed of 850 m/s. The warhead itself has a blast radius of 30 metres and a proximity fuse radius of 40 metres.

Each missile only retains enough fuel for 55 seconds of flight time. If they cannot hit their target within that timeframe, the missile will automatically self-destruct.


  • The Defender's TEL and radar trailer are based on components of Raytheon's "MIM-104 Patriot" missile system that is widely used by the armed forces of several NATO and non-Western countries.
    • The TEL is modelled after the real-world "M901 Launching Station" component of the Patriot, though the tubes use a fictional, octagonal shape instead. Meanwhile, the radar trailer is based on the Patriot system's "AN/MPQ-53" and "AN/MPQ-65" radar set.
  • Along with the remainder of free content included with the Encore update, the Defender is considered to be a bonus addition for the Jets DLC.
  • Due to technical limitations, neither the TEL nor the radar trailer can be towed by the HEMTT as vehicle towing isn't simulated by the Real Virtuality engine.
  • The Defender is one of the first two land-based and usable heavy anti-aircraft weapon systems in the entire series.


External links

See also

Heavy AA systems of comparable role and configuration

Heavy anti-air systems of ArmA 3
Land MIM-145 Defender* • S-750 Rhea*
Naval Mk21 CenturionMk49 SpartanPraetorian 1C
Jets DLC
* denotes content added as part of the Encore platform update.