Russian Air Force Tests New AA Missile
Mig-31 Interceptor Aircraft. The Russian Air Force is testing and will soon deploy an advanced tactical air-to-air missile that will ...
|Mig-31 Interceptor Aircraft.|
The Russian Air Force is testing and will soon deploy an advanced tactical air-to-air missile that will greatly enhance its operational effectiveness, the service's commander Col Gen Alexander Zelin said on Tuesday.
The missile will be carried by MiG-31BM Foxhound supersonic interceptors/fighters and will subsequently be used by other warplanes, he said.
Zelin did not identify the missile but experts believe it could be the K-37M, also known as RVV-BD, or AA-X-13 Arrow as it is known to NATO.
The K-37M is a long-range air-to-air missile developed specifically for the MiG-31BM interceptor.
“A likely candidate is the Vympel (now part of TRV) K-37M long-range air-to-air missile. This is a successor to the R-33 (Nato codename AA-9 Amos) which was developed originally for the MiG-31 during the early 1970s,” said Douglas Barrie, an air warfare expert at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Work on the K-37 program began during the 1980s, but funding problems delayed its completion, he added. The design has also been further developed since its original conception.
The K-prefix denotes a weapon in development while the M indicates a modification. An export variant of the weapon, known as RVV-BD, was shown at MAKS 2011. The BD suffix may stand for the Russian words bolshoi dalnost, or long range.
“The K-37M - it will likely be known as the R-37M when it enters service - will be the primary air-to-air armament of the MiG-31BM, providing the Russian air force with an extended range interception capability against combat aircraft and cruise missiles,” Barrie said.