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Air-to-air missiles of R-27 family will be upgraded. They were designed to destroy manned aircraft in maneuverable combat and became outdated at present. The missile has been recently upgraded with modern technologies. Now R-27 can destroy complicated targets, including cruise missiles, drones and fifth-generation aircraft, the Izvestia daily writes.


Russian Aerospace Forces to receive upgraded R 27 missiles German Air Force MiG-29 firing an R-27 (Picture source: US Air Force)


The first serial batch of upgraded missiles will be delivered to the Aerospace Forces in late 2019, sources in the Defense Ministry told the newspaper. The first upgraded missiles were tested in Syria and fired by Su-30SM and Su-35S fighter jets. They are the main R-27 carriers. However, the missiles can also be engaged by Su-27, Su-33, Su-34 and MiG-29, the sources said.

"R-27 has a good potential and proper design. The munition is reliable. The homing warhead can be improved with modern technologies to increase precision. Increased energy output will make the range longer," former Commander of the 4th air force and defense army, Hero of Russia Lieutenant-General Valery Gorbenko said.

The missile got upgraded control and aiming system. Modern electronics simplify aiming and the pilot can pay more attention to flying the aircraft. Aiming is automatically done by radio emission. There is also a semi-automatic regime when the pilot has to mark the target.

The missile has a new fuel charge to increase the energy potential. Upgraded R-27 can down cruise missiles and fifth-generation jets.

R-27P and R-27R missiles will also be upgraded. They are designed to destroy air targets in any time of the day and in bad weather. They can be engaged in air combat against maneuvering aircraft which jams radars to escape.

R-27R is a medium-range missile with inertial control. The aiming system comprises a semi-active radar which activates at the final flight stage. R-27P1 homing warhead combines an active radar and inertial correction. They switch on in turn depending on the flight stage. The missile receives guidance from radars of the carrier aircraft or ground radars. It operates by the launch-and-forget principle and ensures information stealth of the attack.

The missile is over 4700mm long. The launch weight is 350 kg. It is armed with a solid-fuel engine and a high explosive charge with 39 kg of explosive substance. The maximum range is 110 km.

"The Aerospace Forces will receive a big number of upgraded air-to-air missiles shortly. R-27 is the main missile of the Russian aviation. A big number of it was produced. Modern technologies upgrade the missile into an effective weapon," expert Anton Lavrov said.

The upgraded R-27 is comparable in characteristics to the US air-to-air AIM-120C missile, the Izvestia said.


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