Ukrainian company Artem to produce R-27 missile for Asian customer

According to Defense Studies, the Ukrainian missile manufacturer State Joint Stock Holding Company (JSC) Artem has received a contract for the production of R-27 air-to-air missiles, as stated by the president of the company, Vladimir Zimin, on Artem’s website.

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Ukrainian company Artem to produce R 27 missile for Asian customer 1 Some variants of the Vympel R-27 air-to-air missile displayed at MAKS 1999 (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The manufacturer received an advance payment, which made it possible to start the implementation of "the largest contract for the last 10-15 years for the supply of R-27 missiles worth over $ 200 million," said Vladimir Zimin. The customer has not been disclosed, but experts believe that it is either Indonesia or India, Defense Studies reports. Considering that the missile is compatible with a large number of Russian-made aircraft (Su-27, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35, MiG-29), the circle of potential customers may turn out to be wider.

The Vympel R-27 (NATO reporting name: AA-10 Alamo) is a family of air-to-air missiles developed by the Soviet Union in the mid-1970’. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force, air forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States and air forces of many other countries as standard medium-range air-to-air missile even though they have the more advanced R-77. 

Ukrainian company Artem to produce R 27 missile for Asian customer 2 R-27 air-to-air missile components (Picture source: UkrMilitary)

The R-27 is manufactured in infrared-homing (R-27T, R-27ET), semi-active-radar-homing (R-27R, R-27ER), and active-radar-homing (R-27EA) versions. R-27 family missiles are produced by both Russian and Ukrainian manufacturers. The R-27 missile is carried by the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 family fighters, and some of the later-model MiG-23MLD fighters have also been adapted to carry it. The R-27 missile is also license-produced in China,[citation needed] though the production license was bought from Ukraine instead of Russia.

The guided missile is designed to destroy air targets at speeds moving at up to 3,500 km/h, with an overload of up to 8G. The missile layout provides for modularity, which facilitates modernization. Modifications of the R-27 are in service with the air forces of 29 countries.

Artem currently produces four modifications of the R-27: R-27ER1, R-27R1, R-27ET1, R-27T1. The most advanced R-27ER1 has a launch range of 95 km. A universal warhead weighing 29 kg is used. The R-27ER1 version is equipped with a semi-active radar head with radio correction. According to Defense Studies, in 2019, representatives of Artem announced working on a new modification of the R-27 and new GOS - including active ones. Tests of promising samples are scheduled for 2021.

Ukrainian company Artem to produce R 27 missile for Asian customer 3

Ukrainian R-27 modifications (Picture source: UkrMilitary)