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Russia's Dogfight Retaliation Missile is on the agenda again

Russia’s Dogfight Retaliation Missile is on the agenda again

Almost 20 years have passed since the project’s inception and Russia seems to have resumed work on the new short-range air-to-air missile (AAM).

After years of lack of upgrades and improvements, Russia appears to be making attempts to fill this gap in the AAM inventory.

Tactical Missile Corporation (KTRV), one of Russia’s major air defense manufacturers, is working on an important project. A previously shelved project plan Vympel R-73 (RS-AA-11 Archer) began to redevelop the short-range air-to-air homing AAM. A lot of attention was paid to the lack of the previously shelved project (AAM-enhanced short-range air-to-air missile). Restarting this project could contribute to Russia’s defense industry and portfolio.

It is seen that the Defense Board (KTRV) has highlighted the shortcomings in this area in the latest developments report in 2020. The developments in this report can be considered significant, as the original Izdeliye (item) 300 is highlighted on the K-30 missile developed to replace the R-73. The letter “M” used here indicates a difference in design compared to the previous project. Work on a more advanced version of the R-73 “dogfight” missile dates back to the 1980s. This project later evolved into the Multi-Role Frontal Fighter (MFI) weapon package program of the Russian air force.

Russia’s Dogfight Retaliation Missile is on the agenda again

Make do and mend

Recently, the Russian air force continues to compensate for short range guided missiles. For this, it is carrying out upgrade studies on the R-73 model. It seems that he is trying to add relatively new features to this work. When the project was shelved, the Russian air force could not fill this gap for nearly 20 years. Russia’s development on these shortcomings relatively intensifies after 2016. It seems that no significant progress has taken place before this time.

After 2016, efforts to upgrade existing projects and new projects are intensifying. The R-73’s R-74M (or M1) (RS-AA-11B Archer) upgrade was introduced only in 2016. The latest model, the R-74M2 (possibly RS-AA-X-11C), is likely to be in the inventory. The R-74M1 system includes new enhancements, as well as upgrades to engagement and seeker range. The R-74M1 also replaced the infrared seeker system with a new version of the imaging-infrared seeker. In addition, The R-74M1 was intended to be integrated with the internal carrier systems of the Su-57 Felon.

Russia continues to work on the development of this new imaging-infrared search technology. During the USSR period, infrared advanced tracking systems were developed as a State enterprise in the current Ukraine. KTRV ‘defense industry is currently the sole responsible organization for the development of optical mechanical systems and these infrared systems. However, the current status of AZOV systems is still uncertain.

Russia’s Dogfight Retaliation Missile is on the agenda again

An Izdeliye 300 airframe is on display in the Vympel museum, where access is closed. The missile is on display alongside the R-60 (RS-AA-08 Aphid) and R-73. Apart from this design, another “AAM” design that has not been shown before is also on display. It is not yet fully known whether this is an R-73 developed as a later version or is intended to meet another requirement.

The Izdeliye 300 is a predominantly standard fuselage design similar to Britain’s advanced short-range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM), making it distinctively different from the R-73. The nose section of the R-73 gives up control flaps and destabilizers. At the rear, instead of the cruciform wing of the R-73, Izdeliye 300 has four cross-shaped fins; In front there can be four fixed destabilizers at a 45 degree angle to each of its fins. The body also appears to have a small antenna housing for a data link on the top of the body, similar to what is seen on the R-77. The inclusion of a data link will allow the missile to fire before the seeker locks on the target, and the launch aircraft will provide target updates during missile flight. This will allow the improved range performance of the missile to be fully utilized.

Russia’s Dogfight Retaliation Missile is on the agenda again

Export and internal drivers

KTRV also said the 300M project was supported by the company’s “future development fund” and there is no reference to whether this effort has received government funding. It seems certain that KTRV will develop a higher model for the R-73 in the export arena. The Military Balance database assesses that the missile has been delivered to more than 30 countries since its launch in 1984. The missile and MiG-29 Fulcrum family, a standard element of the Su-27 Flanker family, exported more than 10,000 rounds.

The R-74M1 is now offered for export under the generic name RVV-MD (Air-to-Air Missile – Short Range), but KTRV faces growing challenges in its traditional markets. Although higher and longer range active radar homing AAMs are considered, they are considered a central component of the weapon integrity of a complementary short range fighter aircraft.

The R-74M1 is now offered for export under the generic name RVV-MD (Air-to-Air Missile – Short Range), but KTRV faces growing challenges in its traditional markets. Although higher and longer range active radar homing AAMs are considered, they are considered a central component of the weapon integrity of a complementary short range fighter aircraft.

Such developments confronted Moscow’s opposition. China and India alone received several thousand units of R-73 each. RVV-MD will provide a containment loop at best. However, in order to prevent further loss of KTRV’s market share, it may need a new generation missile system. Apart from that, it can be seen as inevitable that the 300M will be successfully produced and put into inventory.

Russia’s Dogfight Retaliation Missile is on the agenda again