The Sparrow Missile is a medium-range, all-weather, all-aspect, semi-active guided missile used in multiple roles by multiple services. In its air-to-air role, the missile is used on fighter aircraft of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and allied countries, including the F-4, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. The surface-to-air version, the SeaSparrow, is used for shipboard point defense on more than 150 ships of various classes for the U.S. and numerous other countries.

The AIM/RIM-7P is the most recent model of the Sparrow family of missile systems, which began initial deployment in 1956 and has become the standard upon which many worldwide systems are based. Current Sparrow production includes only upgrades of older missiles to the 7P configuration. The 7P model features performance improvements providing look-down, shoot-down in heavy clutter environments and much lower altitude engagement. Additionally, it is more time immune to the ever challenging countermeasures threat.