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    Russian Air-to-Air missiles

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    GarryB
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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:08 am

    What is the difference between a two color seeker and an IIR seeker.

    A two colour seeker often uses two different bands of "light" to distinguish an aircraft from a decoy flare. I use quotes for light because it doesn't operate in the visible light range, they often operate in IR and UV.

    ROYGBIV is the light spectrum... red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
    Infra red is beyond red and ultra violet is beyond violet in the other direction.
    Neither are naturally visible to the human eye, but that is only because certain elements in the human eye block those frequencies.

    IR is related to heat, while UV is often related to very high voltage, something burning, or cosmic energy coming from the sky at night. UV and IR energy also come from the sun in addition to all frequencies of visible light.

    The point is that an aircraft will have lots of bits emitting heat in different amounts, but it wont have bits emitting UV light.
    When an aircraft releases flares those flares will emit UV energy as well as IR energy and visible light energy so by making a missile UV sensitive it can detect whether a heat or IR source is a flare burning or an aircraft.

    IIR is like a thermal imager and creates an actual image of the target in the IR spectrum.

    Two colour seekers are often good enough for most targets and are much cheaper until the mass production of QWIP sensors makes them cheaper.

    A staring focal array does the same job as a QWIP, but the QWIP has much more potential for becoming cheaper, and being more versatile in that a QWIP chip can be sensitive to a wide range of frequencies combined, and with a bit of processing can create the best possible view of the target.

    With 3D IR images of the targets you can achieve a lock on after launch capability that wont result in an own goal... except when operating with allies that have the same aircraft as the enemy like NATO will likely be doing.

    I am probably inclined to believe a IIR is far more advanced and jam proof compared to two colour seeker.Having said that i read even the latest SM-3 uses a two colour seeker so its not that bad.

    Two colour seekers are effective enough so far...

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Mindstorm on Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:36 pm

    Not having that means you have a LOBL capability which limits to missile seeker looking at the target and it wont go beyond couple of Km.

    Its a pity since RVV-MD has a tremendous range over any known WVR missile but due to lack of LOAL capability it cannot use it.


    What is that ? Shocked Shocked

    Something say to me that a big misunderstanding has played an enormous role even only in the borning of this same thread.

    Let start from the basis : Lock On Before Launch mean simply that all the necessary vectorial data for generate an useful intercept point must be present for the sensor suit (and not specifically missile seeker...except,as i will further explained successively down here,for very short range combat employing HMS ) before weapon delivery , without chances to update those data in-flight, change initial point of intercept designated toward a target on which you obtain a lock after missile's delivery or capability of the missile to self classify or designate a "target of opportunity" in an area, etc..etc...

    R-73/73M1/M2 in particular are missile with a inertial mid-course proportional guidance up to a preselected point of intercept and terminal IR guidance.
    This is an extract from Jane's Air-Launched Weapons n. 38 from Robert Hewson :


    The missile has inertial mid-course proportional guidance with a terminal two-colour IR seeker, and it is believed to have an all-aspect engagement capability as well as the ability to discriminate against flare decoys. The 0S Mk-80 seeker assembly is manufactured by CDO Arsenal in theUkraine, and has a range of 15 km in the forward hemisphere with a field of view of ±75º. AA-11 has the capability to be designated and to lock onto a target before launch, with designation from the aircraft radar, IRST or the pilot's helmet-mounted sight……The R-73M2 version has an off-boresight capability improved to 60º, and a maximum range against a typical fighter target of 30km. Both R-73M1 and R-73M2 missiles can track targets in flight with off-boresight angles greater than these designation limits, increasing to 60º and 80º respectively.
    It is believed that the missiles can follow targets manoeuvring at up to 12g, with sightline spin rates of up to 60º/s. AA-11 `Archer' can engage targets at altitudes from 20 m up to 20 km. R-73M2 has digital control electronics and IRCCM, which presumably can be reprogrammed as decoy flares change.
    The greater range means that this version has a longer burning rocket motor, with suggestions that this missile can turn through 180º after launch.

    Effectively for longer range engagements the initial "lock" for the "Archer" is obtained using designation and target positional and vectorial data obtained from Radar/IRTS/OLS for achieve a point of intercept ,which R-73M reach through in-flight inertial proportional guidance, from which the chances of the selected target to exit outside the R-73's terminal IR seeker field of view are very slim to absent .
    Talking of the last capability named in the Jane's article (capability to perform a 180 degrees turn after launch ) it is mentioned also by Yefim Gordon in its "Soviet-Russian Aircraft Weapons since World War Two" ,pag 33

    The missile is capable to do an U –Turn immediately after launch to engage an aircraft pursuing the aircraft; however this requires the aircraft to be equipped with a tail protection system enabling targeting in the rear hemisphere

    What has truly puzzled me is discover that the enormous engagement range of R-73/73M (image that Hewson in the shortcut classify R-73M1/M2 as a medium range missile with IR guidance !!!) ,one of its most feared feature ,has been putted in doubt on the basis of a so naive misconception.

    This is a pre-fire sequence described in How to Fly and Fight in the Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum” by Jon Lake pag. 40):

    Immediately two parallel lines appeared in the HUD indicating the limits of the IRST sensor's lock-on zone(personal note: NOT the seeker lock on zone Laughing Laughing ) . 'Harry' manoeuvres hard to place the target between these lines and could squeeze the trigger, committing a missile to launch as soon as the enemy is locked-up. Instead, he waits for the enemy aircraft to enter the IRST 'ladder' and as the lock-on tone growls in his headset, hes queezes the trigger. "Pusk" (launch) he calls.
    Even in a maximum range head-on shot,the R-73 'Archer' is extremely hard to defeat.
    It is extremely agile, very fast, and has a longreach, so is almost impossible to outmanoeuvre.


    From the same publication -pag 69- the words of an USAF pilots on the subject (and we all well remember the monstrous exchange ratio achieved by original, even if very old, MiG-29A with IRTS ,HMS and R-73 in pratically all DACT exercices against western corrispectives after German reunification) :


    There's a range out there, probably a short (only just) BVR range, where the 'Archer' has its greatest advantage, and where the 'Archer'
    is most scary to us.
    Inside ten miles they're not thinking 'Alamos' any more and have probably even jettisoned them. But before we can get into a turning engagement ourselves or get close enough to VID (visually identify) or get a Fox Two against the 'Fulcrum', there are 'Archers' on the way, and they're extremely difficult to defeat.
    I'm not sure exactly what the reach of the AA-11 is actually, and of course, in any case the Russians have a different version of the 'Archer' than the Germans and there are new sub-variants coming out all the time. But, at the end of the day there's a range out there where we can't see the 'Fulcrum', can't tell that the bandit is a 'Fulcrum' and yet they can shoot 'Archers' at us. That's not a good situation to be in.

    This enormous engagement range advantage of R-73M ,with greater burn-out time and far ghreater terminal G limit over all its competitors worldwide is ,moreover, not only considered an immense operative problem for operatives of opposing Air Forces -as well testimonied by the words up-reported- but is ,very often, cited by the the same Russian developers as one of its best selling point
    That are few words of Boris Obnosov, chief of Russian Tactical Missiles Weapon Corporation on the difference in engagement range with the competitors :

    Our classification of “air-to-air” weapons includes three types of missiles - small, medium and long range. Now the short distance – is considered up to 40 kilometers, and the average – up to 100 kilometers. So the targets, which are now attacked by intermediate range missiles, will be destroyed by the short distance weapon.
    (do you remember Hewson's classification of R-73M as a medium range missile ?)

    and

    For example, the combat range of RVV-MD exceeds AIM-9X almost twice.


    Direct lock on by part of the missile seeker in engagements with R-73 and its derivatives is pratically executed exclusively in High G close range dog-fights in conjuction with the HMS (simply because lock-on by part of IRTS /OLS suit would be impossible, for geometrical reasons, for target in this combat envelop)
    It is well explained by Yefim gordon in its "Famous Russian Aircraft SU-27" pag 520:

    The HMS works solely with IR-Homing missile. Using it the pilot is able to fire a missile quickly at an enemy aircraft within visual range when sorely pressed for time during a dofg fight.
    The pilot aims the missile without pointing the aircraft (and hence the missile's axis) towards the target -merely by looking at the target and getting it into the aiming reticle of the HMS.
    In so doing he point the seeker of the missile squarely at the target, bypassing the radar and the optoelectronic targeting system ,moreover the HMS can provide target information to the radar and IRTS/LR .


    I hope to have contributed to clarify the question one time for all.







    Last edited by Mindstorm on Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  SOC on Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:47 pm

    "Proportional guidance" is an incorrect term. The correct term is proportional navigation, or PRONAV. This has nothing to do with the actual guidance system per se, but rather the flight control system. PRONAV describes the path the missile takes to it's intercept point. In PRONAV, the missile's path is computed based on the target's path, allowing it to avoid simply flying a tail-chase engagement where it has to waste kinetic energy matching each and every maneuver of the target. PRONAV saves KE, giving you 1) longer overall range, and/or 2) more KE to maneuver at endgame for a successful intercept. In PRONAV, the missile has to know where the target is; that's the whole point of using PRONAV as a guidance algorithm. The R-73/RVV-MD know where the target is because they are LOBL weapons, the seeker acquiring the target before launch. A weapon such as the R-77 or AIM-120 uses PRONAV during the midcourse phase as they receive updated target position data from their midcourse guidance datalinks with the launching aircraft, before acquiring the target with their seeker head close to or during endgame. "Inertial mid-course proportional guidance" makes no sense whatsoever, becuase during inertially guided flight the missile just boosts out to a predetermined point before beginning to acquire guidance information from either its own seeker or the launching aircraft. You typically won't bother with PRONAV during inertial guidance for the simple reason that flying in a straight line (or using a lofted trajectory for greater ranges) saves more terminal KE than PRONAV does.

    Jane's is a great reference source, I use it a lot myself. I've got a pile of Land-Based Air Defence volumes, one of the Strategic Weapon Systems binders, an Air Launched Weapons volume, and a few others. But like any other source, they aren't 100% accurate.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:58 am

    Let start from the basis : Lock On Before Launch mean simply that all the necessary vectorial data for generate an useful intercept point must be present for the sensor suit (and not specifically missile seeker...except,as i will further explained successively down here,for very short range combat employing HMS ) before weapon delivery , without chances to update those data in-flight, change initial point of intercept designated toward a target on which you obtain a lock after missile's delivery or capability of the missile to self classify or designate a "target of opportunity" in an area, etc..etc...

    Excluding radar guided missiles as he has by talking about the R-73E and RVV-MD, which are both IR guided missiles, lock on before launch in this case means that before the missile can be launched it must have a solid lock on the target.
    It does not need to calculate anything, it just needs a sensor on board the aircraft to direct the seeker in the missile to the target. That sensor can be the helmet mounted sight, the IRST, or the radar. Once directed to the target and a lock is achieved meaning the seeker is now tracking that target exclusively, then the missile can be fired.
    A lock on before launch missile cannot be fired to fly to a specific place in space and then find and lock the target itself... that would be lock on after launch.
    There is no datalink for communication between launch aircraft and either missile mentioned, so a missile launched without a lock will hit only the ground.

    R-73/73M1/M2 in particular are missile with a inertial mid-course proportional guidance up to a preselected point of intercept and terminal IR guidance.

    Perfectly true, but we are no longer talking about LOBL or LOAL, we are talking about the flight control algorithm that controls the flight surfaces of the missile and "flys" it to the target. Older model missiles will point their noses at the target and fly straight at them till they hit them due to their superior speed. Very simple, but offers the pilot more options to out fly the missile as it is flying to where he is and usually ends up in a tail chase to hit the rear of the tail pipe.
    Proportional guidance means the missile determines the rate at which the target is moving within its field of view... if it remains stationary then the target is either moving directly towards or away from the missile and it will continue to fly till it hits the target on that course. If the target is moving in its field of view it corrects its flight... it is not so sophisticated as to calculate an intercept point in 3D space and time... it has no range information for closing rates so it cannot perform such a calculation. It determines the rate at which the target moves and instead of flying directly at the target by turning a little, it turns a lot more till the target stops moving in its field of view.
    This means the missile is no longer flying directly towards the target but at an angle ahead of where it is moving so that the target no longer moves in its field of view... this means that after a period of time the missile will either run out of fuel and energy and fall to the ground, or it will hit the target.

    Think of it in terms of people on the ground. One person is walking a course that is not straight from one end of a room to another. If someone else representing a missile starts to approach from the side and walks twice as fast as the target and keeps heading towards the target because the target is moving the missile will always be heading to slightly to the rear of the target, but because it is moving so much faster it will always hit it... and for shots from behind or the side it will most likely hit the target in the rear.
    Now change the "guidance rules" for the missile. As it moves towards the target (which is not walking in a straight line remember) it will turn until the target stops moving... from the side that means walking toward a place slightly ahead of the target that will exactly coincide with where the target will be when you get there. When the target turns (because it is not walking straight) it will start moving again in the missiles field of view and so the missile will need to change course so that the target will be stationary in its FOV again.
    For the target to be stationary in your field of view while it is moving and you are moving 2-3 times faster than it is that means you are getting closer and will impact the target unless it changes course and you do not. If it changes course and you correct your course then you should hit... assuming no countermeasures of course... we are talking about the guidance not the ECCM.

    Talking of the last capability named in the Jane's article (capability to perform a 180 degrees turn after launch ) it is mentioned also by Yefim Gordon in its "Soviet-Russian Aircraft Weapons since World War Two" ,pag 33

    That means that a target flying directly towards the launch aircraft, but offset to the side by a distance, you can get a lock, fire a missile, and it will use its thrust vectoring to pull a high g turn to keep the seeker nose pointed at the target as it flys past the launch aircraft and heads back behind the launch platform. The missile has turned 180 degrees to follow the target but it needs to keep its seeker pointed at the target at all times to have a chance of hitting it.
    A missile with lock after launch capability can be fired forward at a target already behind the launch aircraft and it will perform the same 180 degree turn and then it will look for and ID the target before getting a lock and intercepting it.

    The thrust vector capability of the R-73 allows it to be mounted on a weapons pylon facing backwards, so you can get a lock on a target behind the aircraft and fire the missile at a target behind the aircraft... it needs that thrust vectoring capability to keep the seeker in the nose pointed at the target throughout the engagement.
    R-27s were tried but as their forward speed changed from negative to positive... ie they were hanging there at zero forward speed, without thrust vectoring the main butterfly wings stalled and the nose dropped and the missile lost lock of the target.

    The HMS works solely with IR-Homing missile. Using it the pilot is able to fire a missile quickly at an enemy aircraft within visual range when sorely pressed for time during a dofg fight.

    The helmet sight and missile combination are ideal... in a western fighter the pilot tries to turn their whole aircraft to point the nose at the target, which also points the missiles on the pylons at the target and then activates the missile seeker to try to get a lock, or scans with radar and then directs the missile seeker to look where the radar is tracking to get a lock.
    With the Mig-29 or Su-27 the pilot lowers a small monacle that has a cross hair on it. The pilot turns his head and looks at the target aircraft (which is a threat so of course he wants to visually track the enemy aircraft as much as possible anyway) When the target is within the 90 degree field of view of the R-73E he can push a button on his control stick to get the seeker of the selected missile to look where he is looking (determined by a system that tracks his helmet) and when it gets a lock the cross hair starts blinking... he is now free to pull the trigger and launch the missile.
    With thrust vectoring capability the missile can pull very hard turns off the rail... just like the Mig-29OVT and point its nose in any direction it wants in flight.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:01 am

    BTW another advantage of proportional navigation is that the missile tends to hit the middle of the target rather than the jet engine nozzle, which makes the warhead more effective in bringing down the target.

    It was more important for older MANPADs like Strela because of their relatively small warheads made hits to the tail pipe survivable.

    Igla uses propnav too.

    Evidence of GROM hits to Su-25s in the conflict in Georgia suggests it uses the old tail chase Strela guidance.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  SOC on Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:11 pm

    GarryB wrote:The thrust vector capability of the R-73 allows it to be mounted on a weapons pylon facing backwards, so you can get a lock on a target behind the aircraft and fire the missile at a target behind the aircraft...


    Some of the R-73 rear-hemisphere engagement tests also involved firing the missile forward. TVC allowed it to maintain controllability through the transition around zero velocity.

    Can't tell if that's what they're doing here, but this is still amusing:



    GarryB wrote:in a western fighter the pilot tries to turn their whole aircraft to point the nose at the target, which also points the missiles on the pylons at the target and then activates the missile seeker to try to get a lock, or scans with radar and then directs the missile seeker to look where the radar is tracking to get a lock.

    JHMCS, anyone? Cool

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:37 am

    Well technically Apache pilots can scoff at US fighter pilots getting HMS... they have had them for years.

    ...of course without a high off bore sight missile the only real advantage was when using the gun, but placing a cross hair in your field of view onto a target to get a lock is much simpler and more natural than using a mini joystick to manoeuvre a cursor of the target and pressing a button.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Mindstorm on Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:11 pm

    Finally i get some work-free time to write something ,let start:



    Talking of the last capability named in the Jane's article (capability to perform a 180 degrees turn after launch ) it is mentioned also by Yefim Gordon in its "Soviet-Russian Aircraft Weapons since World War Two" ,pag 33

    That means that a target flying directly towards the launch aircraft, but offset to the side by a distance, you can get a lock, fire a missile, and it will use its thrust vectoring to pull a high g turn to keep the seeker nose pointed at the target as it flys past the launch aircraft and heads back behind the launch platform. The missile has turned 180 degrees to follow the target but it needs to keep its seeker pointed at the target at all times to have a chance of hitting it.

    GarryB i have cited the precise words of Yefim Gordon from the book and sincerely don't understand what is not clear for you in those words to lead to a so strange interpretation, i repeat them ,may be them will be appear more clear at a second look :


    The missile is capable to do an U –Turn immediately after launch to engage an aircraft PURSUING the aircraft; however this requires the aircraft to be equipped with a tail protection system ENABLING TARGETING IN THE REAR HEMISPHERE


    About ProNav ,i really appreciate (without any irony) your effort to explain the basis of the concept ,but,as you well know of course the method stand..... a bit more complex than that and not precisely in that terms imaged by you (some years ago i have read "Missile guidance and Control Systems" by G.R. Siouris which expend some dozen of pages on the detailed description of the various types of ProNav, give to it a look it is a very good book ).

    Returning to the subject in question ,what has truly puzzled me is observe that pratically anyone has strangely overlooked ,in the articles cited , that R-73 is a missile with INERTIAL guidance and TERMINAL IR guidance (at the point that R. Hewson define it a medium range missile with inertial/IR guidance); inertial guidance in a missile has the exclusive purpose to provide to it the capability to autonomously reach a precise and precomputed point in the space and has virtually nothing to do with target motion or its variation of positioning in the three axis.
    It,obviously, would be completely useless for a missile which has already acquired its target with the seeker -not differently than R-77 or AIM-120 employing inertial guidance to reach a particular,precomputed point of intercet in the space before the terminal active radar homing sequence-; a proof of that is that in short range employement ,when ther "Archer" acquire its target directly with its seeker , R-73 of course don't employ any inertial guidance. Laughing Laughing

    What is see here is a big misunderstanding ,likely generated with confusion with features of missile in completely different class such as AGM-114 or FGM-148, of the LOBL/LOAL concept leading to conclusions completely out of line ,of the like:

    "Why preatically any technical article or parameter chart give for R-73 and RVV-MD 30 and 40 km of effective engagement range ,pilots of opposing Air Forces declare that its wide stand-off range advantage over its competitors is one of its most feared and problematic capability and makers cite its stand-off range advantage as one of its best selling point when (....supposedly... Smile Smile ) its guidance would allow to it ,at maximum, to engage targets 8-9 km away ? "

    Naturally the easy explanation is not that technical charts, pilot's opinions and the same maker's claims are wrong....but ,much more simply ,at be wrong is this warped concept of LOBL/LOAL Very Happy Very Happy
    Just for example ,for a missile with radar guidance, the difference between a LOABL/LOAL missile is merely that the latter can be shooted in track-while-scan mode ,in opposition to after having obtained a radar lock, providing successively ,directly or indirtectly, further data to the missile when in flight .

    Returning at the substance of this thread is important to point out that ,in fact, the only feature different in izdeliye 760 (alias R-73-M2),probably the russian internal version of the RVV-MD, in respect to other R-73 derivatives is capability to receive target data update while in flight ; the mere presence of a datalink receiver allow to the missile to be delivered before aircraft onborad sensor suit would obtain sufficient target positional and vector data integrating,instead, them on the fly ,obtaing in this way your..... "LOAL R-73".

    Fom "Vympel plans to develop air-to-air missiles for Russia's PAK FA fighter" :


    For the PAK FA, Vympel is developing two new missiles based on R-73/R-74 technology. The first of these is izdeliye 760. Based on the K-74M, this is intended to match the performance of the MBDA Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder. It will have an improved IR seeker, an inertial control system, a datalink receiver for target updates and an advanced rocket motor with a longer burn time. To make the missile suitable for internal carriage, its cross-section will be reduced to 320x320 mm.
    To maximise the weapon's coverage, it can be fired in lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) mode, starting under inertial control before achieving in-flight lock-on.
    It will be able to engage targets up to 160ⅹ from the aircraft's heading.



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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:52 am

    Inertial guidance is also used to control the flight of a missile that is not taking a direct path to a detected target, which is what it is used for in this case.

    Rear facing sensors to detect targets for locking R-73 seekers only works with R-73s mounted backwards on their rails and can only be used in the lock on before launch method.

    The 40km launch range would be for a high altitude launch against a head on target travelling at high speed, the missile would not actually fly 40km, as only a high speed target could be locked on at that range at that height.

    Mig-25s and Mig-31s could often detect closing SR-71s at 120km+ with their IR sensors.

    For the PAK FA, Vympel is developing two new missiles based on R-73/R-74 technology. The first of these is izdeliye 760. Based on the K-74M, this is intended to match the performance of the MBDA Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder.

    The R-74 does not exist. The K-74 was the replacement for the R-73 (note K = in development, R = in service) that was going to be a Soviet designed missile with a fully gimballed exhaust nozzle and an IIR seeker, but now the company that was working on the seeker is in the Ukraine, as is the company working on the rocket engine.

    The new all Russian missile for the PAK FA will:
    ...have an improved IR seeker, an inertial control system, a datalink receiver for target updates and an advanced rocket motor with a longer burn time. To make the missile suitable for internal carriage, its cross-section will be reduced to 320x320 mm.
    To maximise the weapon's coverage, it can be fired in lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) mode, starting under inertial control before achieving in-flight lock-on.
    It will be able to engage targets up to 160ⅹ from the aircraft's heading.

    It will have an imaging IR seeker that will see targets as objects rather than as clusters of hot and cold points (aircraft metal out of the slipstream can get rather cold... at 10,000m the air temp is -60 C.). It will have an onboard database of 3D IR images of targets.

    Very simply it needs the capacity for lock on after launch because it will sit in an internal weapons bay with no visibility of the target till it is launched and thrown out of the bay for motor start. This means it has to acquire its target after launch, just like the R-77 already does.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  SOC on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:08 am

    I wonder if the supposed inertial/midcourse guidance in the R-73M2 isn't intended as an IRCCM system rather than a true LOAL capability.

    Missile: "There's the target, heading that way."

    FCS: "Crap, tell the missile that's not the target."

    Datalink: "Turn left stupid, you're chasing a decoy."

    Could be interesting.

    At any rate, just because Gordon, or even Jane's, print something does not make it 100% accurate. Same goes for pretty much any source out there.

    [quote=GarryB]Rear facing sensors to detect targets for locking R-73 seekers only works with R-73s mounted backwards on their rails and can only be used in the lock on before launch method.[/quote]

    Except for when they got one to turn 180 degrees?

    [quote=GarryB]Very simply it needs the capacity for lock on after launch because it will sit in an internal weapons bay with no visibility of the target till it is launched and thrown out of the bay for motor start. This means it has to acquire its target after launch, just like the R-77 already does.[/quote]

    That is only true if the weapon is not swung out on a rail for lock-on prior to launch, like the AIM-9 on the F-22A. Furthermore, I wonder how hard it'd be to make the forward portion of the wing-root AAM housing on the PAK-FA IR transparent to allow LOBL capability. IR wavelengths are considerably smaller so the "window" could easily be made to not be radar transparent as well, retaining the LO characteristics of the airframe.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:32 am

    Except for when they got one to turn 180 degrees?

    Imagine two planes 2km apart flying directly towards each other... nose to nose.

    Now push one aircraft sideways about 400m so they are flying in opposite directions on parallel courses.

    With both aircraft flying at 600km/h that means when one plane sees the other gets a lock by slewing the missiles seeker onto the closing aircraft using his helmet mounted sight, and fires the missile just as the enemy aircraft is getting close, the first manouver the missile performs is a hard turn to follow the target aircraft as it goes past the launch aircraft and continues off on a parallel course... the missile burns most of its highest thrust fuel initially to gain speed but because it is turning so hard on launch it doesn't get to a very high speed because it burns most of its energy turning so it might not hit the target aircraft till the aircraft is 1km or more behind the launch aircraft... it is still a 180 turn, and lock on before launch engagement.

    It is called an over the shoulder launch.

    In a lock on after launch like the Python IV you fire the missile forward but it knows the target is behind and it turns 180 degrees and then starts looking for the target.
    The R-73 and no current version of R-73 can do that.

    They might make the new IIR short range AAM for the PAK FA able to do that, which will be useful because it is also called Morfei and will be used as a short range SAM for the Army and Navy, with a lock on after launch capability that will be very useful in saturation attacks and shooting down incoming missiles.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:35 am

    That is only true if the weapon is not swung out on a rail for lock-on prior to launch, like the AIM-9 on the F-22A. Furthermore, I wonder how hard it'd be to make the forward portion of the wing-root AAM housing on the PAK-FA IR transparent to allow LOBL capability. IR wavelengths are considerably smaller so the "window" could easily be made to not be radar transparent as well, retaining the LO characteristics of the airframe.

    Or how about an extendible rail that can thrust the missile down out of the bay and turn 30-40 degrees off boresight, or even 360 degrees to improve the performance of the missile. (turning hard off a rail uses a lot of energy at a time when you want your missile as low drag and flying straight as possible to increase its acceleration and energy).

    Such a set up might sound silly, but imagine taking that AAM off and replacing it with a gun pod...

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Mindstorm on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:59 am

    Inertial guidance is also used to control the flight of a missile that is not taking a direct path to a detected target, which is what it is used for in this case.

    Garry i am sorry ,but that is simply not true; no missile at world in any class (from cruise missile such as BGM-109 to air-to-air missile such as AIM-120 ),employ inertial guidance when its seeker has acquired the target, eventual not direct pact to the target is obviously computed much, much more precisely with missile axis to the target angular projection algorithms in augmented ProNav guidance.
    Inertial guidance is simply employed to allow a missile to reach a specific, precomputed point in the space before terminal homing.



    The 40km launch range would be for a high altitude launch against a head on target travelling at high speed, the missile would not actually fly 40km, as only a high speed target could be locked on at that range at that height.

    In no way at world a 5,8 kg MK-80 seeker of an R-73 was capable to track a target of any type at..... 30 km , head-on !!
    A modern, immensely more advanced and powerful OLS-UEM of a MIG-35 is capable to detect a target head-on at 20-25 km maximum,it is surely a figure for an high altitude launch , but for strict kinematical reasons, seeker's acquisition range has nothing to do with that.

    Rear facing sensors to detect targets for locking R-73 seekers only works with R-73s mounted backwards on their rails and can only be used in the lock on before launch method.

    GarryB you are an intelligent person ,please stop one moment and reason, i understand that you attempt to "adapt" Gordon's words to your idea...but believe me it is simply impossible ; there is no way at world for a R-73 making an U turn after launch against a pursuing aircraft to have the target in the field of view of its seeker before having complted the 180 degree turn, for this reason that Yefim Gordon specify that the aircraft must have a tail protection system enabling targeting in the rear hemisphere.

    The new all Russian missile for the PAK FA will:

    GarryB here we was talking of izdeliye 760 -alias R-73M2- and a lot of analysts believe that the RVV-MD now offered on the international market is nothing other than izdeliye 760 in its downgraded export version (not differently than RVV-SD and RVV-B).
    Take into account that also the claimed times of development and introduction ,range of engagement ,field of view of the seeker etc..etc... correspond perfectly to those of izdeliye 760 ),therefore is perfectly possible that Russian internal version of the missile has the few izdeliye 760's features lacking in the export version .

    The next generation close-range missile for PAK-FA ,to be finished in 2013 ,will be the Izdeliye 300 with compltely different capabilitites and a focal-plane array -FPA- .


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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:11 am

    Inertial guidance is simply employed to allow a missile to reach a specific, precomputed point in the space before terminal homing.

    OK. Lets pretend you are right.
    A target behind my aircraft has his radar on and based on that signal I can get a precise angular lock on his aircraft, so I launch my R-73 and it uses its thrust vectoring capability to pull a 180 degree turn off the rail.
    With no data link the missile is now facing towards the target, but how does it identify the target?

    When engaging targets in front of the aircraft the radar or IRST or helmet mounted sight is used to turn the actual seeker in the missile directly at the target so it is in the centre of view for a lock... after pulling a 180 degree turn the R-73 will be moving backwards in relation to the launch aircraft but the turn will have offset its position 100m or more depending on the flight speed of the aircraft, it is now looking back but there is no datalink for the launch aircraft to see what the missile can now see or vice versa.

    What happens when it does its 180 degree turn and sees 4 aircraft... the 100m offset means the missile will be seeing those 4 aircraft from a different perspective from what the rear facing sensors on the launch aircraft saw them and are still seeing them.
    What if the missile selects the closest threat... what if the closest threat is your wingman?

    If it were possible to fire at targets unseen behind the aircraft then the R-73 would be a much more capable missile... you could fire it toward radar contacts and as it gets closer it will get a lock and guide to the target.
    Without a datalink however it could just as easily lock on to anything in its field of view of course.

    BTW you make it sound more sophisticated than it is, inertial navigation for a V-1 is to fly in a specific direction (by physically angling the launch ramp in the correct direction) for a fixed period of time and then cut the control surfaces lines to make the weapon fall from the sky. R-73s can be carried by all manner of aircraft, many of which have no radar or means of determining range to targets, like the Yak-130 with no radar, but with a helmet mounted sight you can get a visual lock which is good enough for such a missile as its range means it is a WVR missile and if you can see it, it can probably reach it.
    Firing an R-73 from a Ka-50 means the R-73 will be launched with no idea how far away the target is, it will just fly at the locked target till it runs out of fuel or impacts the target. It will certainly not create a 3D model of the space around it and calculate an intercept point to fly to.
    That is pointless for an IR guided missile.

    For an ARH missile it is crucial as the inertial nav system has to get the missile to a point where the target is in range of the missiles radar seeker... too close and the missile might not get a lock before it blows past, too far away and it might not get a lock either and it will give early warning of the attack.
    The difference of course is that ARH have datalinks and more accurate target data from the launch aircraft that will be updated during the missiles flight.

    In no way at world a 5,8 kg MK-80 seeker of an R-73 was capable to track a target of any type at..... 30 km , head-on !!

    An SR-71 has a surface temperature of over 350 degrees at normal operational height and speed.
    Modern seekers don't rely on detecting very hot things... that would make flares too interesting.
    I am also referring to high altitude use, where the ambient temperature is -62 degrees C or colder and there is no earth clutter to distract the missile.

    At high altitudes there is little moisture to reduce range and no weather to interfere. Remember we are talking about MAX range too, not normal or expected range.

    GarryB you are an intelligent person ,please stop one moment and reason, i understand that you attempt to "adapt" Gordon's words to your idea...but believe me it is simply impossible ; there is no way at world for a R-73 making an U turn after launch against a pursuing aircraft to have the target in the field of view of its seeker before having complted the 180 degree turn, for this reason that Yefim Gordon specify that the aircraft must have a tail protection system enabling targeting in the rear hemisphere.

    Mindstorm, you are an intelligent person, please stop one moment and think, even with a rear facing sensor like an IRST that could pass on to the missile an IR view of the target to get something to compare with when it turns and looks for itself no aircraft are fitted with rear facing IRSTs, there are no datalinks connecting the launch aircraft with the missile so it can be given live data of the target when it starts looking.

    The rear facing sensor system is for missiles launched rearward and it is used in exactly the same way that the forward facing sensor systems are used with the R-73.
    They find the target and give angular information for the missile seeker to look directly at the target and get a lock before the missile is launched.
    Rear facing sensors would not work with a forward facing missile for the same reasons that a rear facing sensor would be of no use with forward facing missiles.
    Before the missile is launched the seeker needs to be locked on to the target.

    There is no ability to acquire a new target after launch... otherwise your own wingmen are in serious danger.

    Take into account that also the claimed times of development and introduction ,range of engagement ,field of view of the seeker etc..etc... correspond perfectly to those of izdeliye 760 ),therefore is perfectly possible that Russian internal version of the missile has the few izdeliye 760's features lacking in the export version

    If the domestic IR AAM had lock on after launch capability then there would be little reason for the new missile, and certainly much less urgency.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Mindstorm on Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:35 am

    What happens when it does its 180 degree turn and sees 4 aircraft... the 100m offset means the missile will be seeing those 4 aircraft from a different perspective from what the rear facing sensors on the launch aircraft saw them and are still seeing them.
    What if the missile selects the closest threat... what if the closest threat is your wingman?


    It would happen exactly what happen any time the seeker of R-73 ,in the terminal IR homing phase, is forced to choose between the original "intended" target and 4 or 5 flares or/and a towed decoy or even .....a friend aircraft overposing itself ,at very close range, on the same pact of original target.
    The problem of possible "fratricide" in many vs many WVR engagements (stimed at reason by Russian the most common hypothetical instance against an advanced enemy),for a missile like R-73 devoid of any in-flight positional data update and target designation capability for achieve a possible lock-on on the intended target after launch , was one of the main motivations for which the project of a similarly employed R-73 was abandoned in soviet times.


    ...like the Yak-130 with no radar, but with a helmet mounted sight you can get a visual lock which is good enough for such a missile as its range means it is a WVR missile and if you can see it, it can probably reach it.
    Firing an R-73 from a Ka-50 means the R-73 will be launched with no idea how far away the target is, it will just fly at the locked target till it runs out of fuel or impacts the target. It will certainly not create a 3D model of the space around it and calculate an intercept point to fly to.
    That is pointless for an IR guided missile.


    Very well GarryB, with that phrase you have perfectly and correctly explained why ,after having acquired theirs target with the IR seeker, missile like R-73 ....DON'T need any inertial guidance Very Happy Very Happy


    even with a rear facing sensor like an IRST that could pass on to the missile an IR view of the target to get something to compare with when it turns and looks for itself no aircraft are fitted with rear facing IRSTs, there are no datalinks connecting the launch aircraft with the missile so it can be given live data of the target when it starts looking.

    Yes, correct GarryB and what is the point ? The point instead is just ,as already explained the problem of target designation for similar type of employement of a missile devoid of any in-flight data receiver. Maybe this exctract from Flight International n. 16 of 22 March 1994 (pag 33) will clarify at what,likely, E. Gordon refere in its statement:


    "Considerable speculation has also been sparked by suggestions that the Su-35 will eventually be fitted with a rear-facing radar in the tailcone extension (personal note : it refere to the words of Major General Vasili Alexandrov, Chief of the Central Scientific and Research Institute of the Russian Federation Air Forces in a conference in 1993) .
    This, it is claimed, will not only have a passive threat-warning role (personal note: the tail mounted protection system at which E Gordon refere in its statement) but will potentially facilitate "over-the-shoulder" shots with the R-73."


    Rear facing sensors would not work with a forward facing missile for the same reasons that a rear (i image you intended forward ,) facing sensor would be of no use with forward (i image you intended rear) facing missiles.


    It would work exactly in the same way included the enormous problems of target designation after launch (an immense problem in the large scale "many vs many" engagements on which Russian analysts modulate theirs air-to-air weapon system's requirements) over,naturally, greatly reduced probability to kill -PK - against highly manoeuvrable targets .


    There is no ability to acquire a new target after launch... otherwise your own wingmen are in serious danger.


    Yes, words exactly to the mark Wink Wink


    If the domestic IR AAM had lock on after launch capability then there would be little reason for the new missile, and certainly much less urgency.


    Izdeliye 300 should have a FPA,a significantly higher G limit, about double seeker homing range in respect to.... izdeliye 760, very high resistance to DIRCM and virtual total immunity to flares ; to me those don't appear precisely as little differences.
    While i don't believe that it will be ready in 2013 , i strongly believe that Russians designers will press for completion of Izdeliye 300 for 2014 to allow weapon tests and validation on PAKFA for 2015.


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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:05 am

    It would happen exactly what happen any time the seeker of R-73 ,in the terminal IR homing phase, is forced to choose between the original "intended" target and 4 or 5 flares or/and a towed decoy or even .....a friend aircraft overposing itself ,at very close range, on the same pact of original target.

    Not quite the same.

    The target aircraft ejecting flares or another target flying in front of the locked target is a case of pattern recognition, where the first lock is not a lock onto the hottest part of the target... otherwise simply the target turning 180 degrees would break the lock by concealing the pattern locked onto with the other half of the aircraft.
    Very simply it is a case of the missile seeker looking and locking on a distinctive blob of different IR returns and treating that blob as a target.
    Single high intensity flares no longer work against modern seekers, as they lock onto patterns of IR energy so to have a chance of decoying it you need a pattern of different temperature flares that might distract the seeker.
    The R-73 is known to be very resistant to flares.

    Very well GarryB, with that phrase you have perfectly and correctly explained why ,after having acquired theirs target with the IR seeker, missile like R-73 ....DON'T need any inertial guidance

    Think of an inertial guidance in this context as an autopilot... rather than a flight control system that controls the aircraft (missile) till the precise target location has been established.

    It uses target information from the target seeker, but rather than blindly flying towards the targets signature, it uses the changing angular information to formulate an interception flight profile rather than a tail chase flight profile.

    This, it is claimed, will not only have a passive threat-warning role (personal note: the tail mounted protection system at which E Gordon refere in its statement) but will potentially facilitate "over-the-shoulder" shots with the R-73."

    Potentially... meaning he does not know and is guessing of a potential capability...

    To fire at targets detected behind your aircraft you need either a two way datalink where your missile shows you what it sees and you select the correct target for it, or it needs a FPA or QWIP seeker or imaging seeker that would allow the missile to use a 3D library of targets and select its own target in flight...

    The R-73 in all its current forms lacks a datalink and an imaging IR seeker (IIR seeker) and is like all the other IR guided missiles in the Soviet Arsenal like the R-24T, R-27T, R-27ET that all have flight ranges that greatly exceed their normal target lock on range. The R-27T and R-27ET have the same IR seeker as the R-73 but because it is mounted in a larger missile the angles of FOV are 55 degrees + and - so although it does not have thrust vectoring it has a good seeker and should be a very capable missile.

    Their main advantage of long range translates into a high energy interceptor, and the ability to hit targets further away at lower altitudes and also the ability to chase down receding targets, which are difficult targets for SARH targets to lock onto.

    Rear facing sensors would not work with a forward facing missile for the same reasons that a rear (i image you intended forward ,) facing sensor would be of no use with forward (i image you intended rear) facing missiles.

    Nope. I meant what I said. Rear facing sensors might alert the pilot to an incoming threat, but forward facing missiles need forward facing sensors and a target in front of the aircraft to get a lock. They can't be passed information about where to look and then get fired off to turn 180 degrees and find and lock a target in flight.

    Python 5 can do that. R-73 cannot.

    Izdeliye 300 should have a FPA,a significantly higher G limit, about double seeker homing range in respect to.... izdeliye 760, very high resistance to DIRCM and virtual total immunity to flares ; to me those don't appear precisely as little differences.

    Those are all very desirable features, but the R-73 in all models was already good at ignoring flares, and AFAIK its combat record is actually very good.
    The R-73 can engage targets performing 12 g manoeuvres so its flight performance is already pretty good.. only unmanned vehicles on paper could evade it.

    I have a few photos of mockups of various planned missiles:






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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:22 am

    I have done a little search of some of my old articles on future Russian AAMs and I found this:

    In 2010, Vympel expects to complete its development of the short-range Izdeliye 760 missile — which is a significantly modernized version of the R-73 weapon, outfitted with an inertial flight control system and course correction receiver, improved rocket engine and with new multi-mode infrared seeker. The Izdeliye 760 is expected to be a close counterpart to the Western-built ASRAAM and Sidewinder AIM-9X missiles.

    So when the article was written (by PiBu) in 2007 the Izdeliye 760 was a significantly modernised R-73.
    A course correction receiver?
    This new missile will not be command guided, so I assume he means a datalink to pass target data to the missile in flight.
    New multimode IR seeker?
    Does he mean multi bandwidth?
    Does he mean it can now engage ground targets?

    I rather suspect (on the datalink feature alone) that the RVV-MD is not the i760.

    The I760 will likely be the first IR guided AAM carried by the PAK FA till the more definitive custom designed model is ready (ie i300).

    Three years later, the new-generation K-MD short range missile (also to be designated the Izdeliye 300) is to be operational. When compared to Izdeliye 760, the new missile will have longer range and will be capable of being launched from any direction; it will be also more resistant to jamming. The K-MD will be fitted with a new imaging infrared seeker enabling identification of target according to memorized images. The seeker's lock-on range will be two times greater than the seeker for the Izdeliye 760 missile. A new adaptive warhead will be introduced, and the missile's control will be performed with aerodynamic surfaces, as well as a thrust-vector engine nozzle.

    This will be the new weapon designed specifically for the PAK FA and will be the designed from scratch weapon.

    So currently we have the RVV-MD which tidies up all the bits of the R-73 with digital electronics, more powerful motor. Still just a two colour seeker and its thrust vectoring is achieved by pushing material into the rocket exhaust to divert the plume.
    Next, we will get a new missile that looks very similar to the R-73 and RVV-MD that will have a better sensor and a datalink that allows lock on after launch capability.
    Finally we will get a new missile that looks like a new missile with IIR seeker that can find its own targets and also likely change targets in flight if needed, and uses proper thrust vectoring nozzle which should allow even better turning capability.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:31 am

    Most important of all is that the PAK FA will likely have an IRST that operates in long wave, medium wave, and short wave IR which will allow it to detect targets at extended ranges depending on the conditions.

    In this case it means that with new IR seekers in missiles with datalinks and lock on after launch capability, as well as the ability to determine the target for itself (I300) then fitting such seekers to missiles like the RVV-SD or RVV-BD would create very interesting weapons.

    For instance a long wave ground based radar detects a threat in the far north and a flight of PAK FAs flys up to intercept... 300km from the intercept point Flanker pilots report they are coming under AMRAAM attack and they are having trouble detecting the threat, so the lead PAK FA fires two RVV-BD with IIR seekers.

    Not being active seekers that give away the missiles presence the missile will climb rapidly under power and then coast the remaining 250km to the target area... looking all the way for IR targets beneath it... when it gets to 250km it detects targets whose signature matches the F-22 and it dives down silently and attacks.

    If on the way down it detects a B-2 then it will change targets and take out the bomber.

    A two way datalink with the missile would allow the missile to send back an IR picture of the target and other potential targets in the area.

    Not really new as the Granit already does this, though using radar and doing it as part of a team of missiles rather than just an individual.

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    Novator K-172, Vympel R-37: News

    Post  George1 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:25 am

    The Vympel R-37 (NATO reporting name: AA-13 Arrow) is a Russian air-to-air missile with an extremely long range.
    It was designed to shoot down AWACS and other C4ISTAR aircraft whilst keeping the launch platform out of range of any fighters that might be protecting the target.

    The Novator K-100 is a Indian/Russian air-to-air missile designed as an "AWACS killer ranges up to 300–400 km (160-210 mi). The missile has had various names during its troubled history, including Izdeliye 172 ('Article 172'), AAM-L (RVV-L), KS–172, KS-1, 172S-1 and R-172. The airframe appears to have been derived from the 9K37 Buk surface-to-air missile (SAM).



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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Tunguska india on Wed May 23, 2012 1:25 pm

    Can anyone please enlighten me on Novator K -172 range ,Guidance system? as i did not find any information in indian sources.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Thu May 24, 2012 11:02 am

    All that information would be estimates and guesses.

    The KS-172 has only existed so far as we know as a mockup.

    The R-37M is being tested this year with the Russian Mig-31s for operational service.

    The KS-172 has not been funded and is not related to the BUK SAM.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Viktor on Thu May 24, 2012 12:08 pm

    GarryB wrote:All that information would be estimates and guesses.

    The KS-172 has only existed so far as we know as a mockup.

    The R-37M is being tested this year with the Russian Mig-31s for operational service.

    The KS-172 has not been funded and is not related to the BUK SAM.

    There was an article few years ago sugesting K-172 is now called K-100.

    K-100 was meant to be codevelopt with India while K-37 was meant just for Russian airforce.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  medo on Thu May 24, 2012 4:34 pm

    I don't know for KS-172, but R-37 was tested years ago against targets around 300 km away. It seems Mig-31BM will be first operational plane equipped with R-37 missiles. I don't know if Su-35 will also use they. In the nineties they plan to use KS-172 on Su-35, but maybe they will integrate R-37 to Su-35.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Viktor on Thu May 24, 2012 6:15 pm

    medo wrote:I don't know for KS-172, but R-37 was tested years ago against targets around 300 km away. It seems Mig-31BM will be first operational plane equipped with R-37 missiles. I don't know if Su-35 will also use they. In the nineties they plan to use KS-172 on Su-35, but maybe they will integrate R-37 to Su-35.

    Sukhoi advertise Su-35BM with long range missile. K-37 certanly has future no doubt.

    What will happen with K-100 remaines to be seen.

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    Re: Russian Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Fri May 25, 2012 12:57 am

    I suspect the only hope the KS-172 had was if the Indians were interested in it... and I rather suspect they will want to go with the already developed missile in the form of the RVV-BD, which is the export model of the R-37M.

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