MBDA just issued this pic of the Aspide 2000 radar-guided surface-to-air missile being tested by Kuwait's air defense brigade at the ADEIRA range Dec. 18-19. Kuwait is one of several countries upgrading air defense missile batteries to the Aspide 2000 configuration. During the test, the 240 kg (528 lb.) aircraft buster killed two Banshee remotely piloted targets, one by direct hit, the other via proximity explosion.
Helicopters have proved extraordinarily versatile and valuable across a wide range of missions, but even after the first brief pioneering flights their successful development involved decades of trial and error. Aviation Week takes a visual journey through that history.