enter image description here

How this missile is positioned here in this odd position? How this can be launched right from this jet?

  • 24
    $\begingroup$ What "missile" in that picture are you talking about? I don't see any attached to that jet... Are you asking about the ones on the side? Near the canopy? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 4, 2019 at 3:48
  • 28
    $\begingroup$ A freehand red circle indicating what missile you're asking about would add considerable clarity to this question. $\endgroup$
    – Makyen
    Nov 4, 2019 at 17:23
  • 17
    $\begingroup$ I see like 6 different things here that look like missiles or things that could be mistaken for missiles. Which thing are you looking at? $\endgroup$ Nov 5, 2019 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


You're seeing the Sidewinder on the folded up wingtip of the F-18 that is in the foreground out of frame except for its wing tip and missile sticking up at the bottom. The airplane is between the camera and the adjacent F-18 who's canopy is visible. The long lens being used foreshortens and compresses everything distance wise so it looks like the missile is 6 inches from the canopy when it's actually probably 20-30 ft closer to the camera.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Note that the sidewinder is slightly out of focus (compare to the canopy) - this gives away the foreshortening. We could work out how much closer from the dimensions in reality vs in pixels (as I suggest in this old answer, but here we've got more to go on) $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Nov 4, 2019 at 16:31
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It's also identical to the same thing on the plane behind it. $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2019 at 17:05
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ @LightnessRaceswithMonica Not quite - the one in the background has a blue stripe, indicating an inert training missile. The foreground missile has a yellow stripe and brown stripe, indicating a live warhead and rocket motor, respectively. $\endgroup$
    – J...
    Nov 4, 2019 at 17:35
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ So, essentially this, but from another angle...? $\endgroup$
    – BruceWayne
    Nov 4, 2019 at 21:09
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Yes, but I'm really curious to know from where the shot was taken. It looks like the taxiing aircraft is moving up to the catapult, so the camera is somewhere to the port side of the ship, toward the bow end. It makes me think it was taken from the rescue helicopter that normally hovers near the ship during cat launches, using a long telephoto lens. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Nov 4, 2019 at 22:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .