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Vympel R-73 (missile)

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A Russian short-range air-to-air missile, the Vympel R-73 (NATO AA-11 ARCHER), The missile has cooled infrared homing and can intercept targets at altitudes between 0.02 and 20km, target g-load to 12g, and with target speeds to 2,500km/hour. It is comparable to the AIM-9X Sidewider and Israeli Python 4.[1]

Innovations included extensive maneuvering improvements both aerodynamic: thrust vectoring for post launch agility, canard vanes for high turn performance; and guidance}: a seeker capable of 45 degree off boresight acquisition, and a helmet mounted sight.

Continued development changed the proximity fuze mechanism from radio to laser, and widening of the off-boresight engagement range.

Aircraft platforms


  1. Kopp, Carlo (April 2005), "Air-to-air missiles in the Asia-Pacific", Defence Today