GarryB Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:23 am
I think what the lease a new WVR AAM from Russian stable needs is a FPA/IIR seeker and two way datalink that would make it comparable to something like Python-5/MICA-IR or AIM-9X.
That would be 9M100, or Morfei.
Most certainly a longer range which was tradationally the case with Russian WVR AAM will be hepful , 40KM as with RVV-MD should more than suffice.
I rather suspect the Morfei will be a smaller lighter missile than the R-73/74 and will most likely have a much shorter flight range.
It will also very likely have a secondary anti missile capability so Flankers going up against F-22s might be able to out gun them directly by taking lots of missiles up to the fight.
I also suspect that when the QWIP based sensors are in full production (they are already licence producing them for the new Catherine XP cameras) and the price comes down they will be able to fit them in thermal and optical frequency ranges that will allow light weight and cheap fire and forget optically guided weapons including ATGMs (Baikal?) and HERMES as well as weapons like the Kh-25 for a small light cheap air to ground missile.
The Morfei will likely be optimised to be as small and compact as possible for internal carriage, which of course introduces the potential as a UCAV weapon and of course helicopter carriage.
In naval use it will likely become a CIWS missile option for all sorts of vessels as its lock on after launch and fire and forget capability would make it an ideal way of dealing with swarm attacks under heavy ECM.
For lighter units (ie VDV) a light vehicle with a rear cabin packed with vertically oriented missiles ready for launch with a roof mounted 360 degree FPA/IIR sensor would make for a very potent fast reaction system for all services.
The current modern threat from NATO is based on the fact that a precision guided weapon can bring a conventional warhead so close to a small target that is effect could previously only be achieved through the use of nuclear weapons. With a point defence missile like Morfei that can engage that incoming missile away from its intended target restores a level of protection for Russian assets that means to effectively defeat them you need to resort back to nuclear weapons, which of course returns the status quo to suicide... which is where we all like it.