R-37 (missile)

The Vympel R-37 (NATO reporting name: AA-X-13/AA-13 Arrow)[2] is a Russian hypersonic air-to-air missile with very long range. The missile and its variants also had the names K-37, izdeliye 610 and R-VD (Ракета Высокой Дальности (Raketa-Vysokoy Dalnosty), "Very Long Range Missile"), and the NATO codenames 'Arrow' and 'Andi'.[3] It was developed from the R-33.

R-37
AA-X-13 Arrow
R-37M at 2013 MAKS Airshow
Typeair-to-air missile
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service2019
Used byRussian Federation Air Force (RFAF)
Production history
Designed1980s
ManufacturerKTRV
Produced1985
VariantsR-37M
Specifications
Mass600 kilograms (1,320 lb)
Length4.20 metres (13 ft 9 in)
Diameter38 centimetres (15 in)
WarheadHE, fragmenting
Warhead weight60 kg (135 lb)

Wingspan0.7 m (2 ft 4 in)
PropellantSolid rocket
Operational
range
150-398 km [1]
SpeedMach 6 (7,350 km/h; 4,567 mph)
Guidance
system
Inertial with mid-course update, semi-active and active radar homing

It was designed to shoot down tankers, AWACS and other C4ISTAR aircraft[2] whilst keeping the launch platform out of range of any fighters that might be protecting the target.

History

The missile was designed in the early 1980s and first flown in 1989.[3] Testing of the R-37 continued through the 1990s,[3] and in 1994, a trial round scored a kill at a range of 162 nautical miles (300 km).[2] However, the program appears to have been dropped around 1998 on grounds of cost.[3]

Work on the missile appears to have restarted in late 2006,[3] as part of the MiG-31BM program to update the Foxhound with a new radar and ground attack capability.[3]

In 2018, the R-37M had finished its operational validation tests.[4][5]

Production

The R-37 is now in production to equip upgraded Russian MiG-31BM interceptors. Despite the early intent to integrate the weapon on the Flanker family, this has yet to be reported.[6]

Design

The R-37 was developed from the R-33. For compatibility with aircraft that did not have the MiG-31's sophisticated radar, the semi-active seeker was replaced with a variant of the Agat 9B-1388 active seeker;[2] mid-body strakes enhance lift[2] and hence range, and folding tail controls allow semi-conformal carriage[2] on planes that are not as big as the MiG-31. According to Defence Today, the range depends on the flight profile, from 80 nautical miles (150 km) for a direct shot[2] to 215 nautical miles (398 km) for a cruise glide profile.[2] According to Jane's there are two variants, the R-37 and the R-37M; the latter has a jettisonable rocket booster that increases the range to "300-400km" (160220 nm).[3]

The R-37M designation has since been used for a modernized variant of the missile, also known as RVV-BD (Raketa Vozduh-Vozduh Bolyshoy Dalnosty, English for Long-Range Air-to-Air Missile). It will be carried by the modernized MiG-31BM interceptors and Su-35S and Su-57 multirole fighters.[7][8] It is not known if the long range air-to-air missile for the Su-57, designated as Izdeliye 810, is a derivative of the R-37M.

The missile can attack targets ranging in altitude between 15–25,000 meters. Missiles can be guided semi-actively or actively through Agat 9B-1388 system.[9]

Similar weapons

References

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