The K-8's development began in 1955, known as R-8 in service. Like most Soviet air-to-air missiles, it was made with a choice of semi-active radar homing or infrared seeker heads. The original missile was compatible with the Uragan-5B radar used on the Sukhoi Su-11 and several developmental aircraft from Mikoyan-Gurevich.
It was upgraded to R-8M (better known as R-98) standard in 1961, giving the SARH weapon the capability for head-on intercepts. In 1963 it was further upgraded to the R-8M1, making it compatible with the RP-11 Oriol-D radar of the Sukhoi Su-15 and Yakovlev Yak-28P.
Subsequent development led in 1965 to R-8M2, more commonly called R-98, with longer range and improved seekers, compatible with the upgraded RP-11 Oryol-M ("Eagle") radar. The final variant, introduced from 1973, was the R-98M1 (NATO 'Advanced Anab') with better countermeasures resistance and longer range, matched to the Taifun-M radar of the Su-15TM and Yak-28PM interceptors.
The R-98M1 remained in service through the 1980s, being withdrawn with the last Su-15 'Flagon' interceptors.
An inert training version was also developed, designated UR-8M.
The R-98 brought down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 on Sept. 1, 1983.
Specifications (R-98MT / R-98MR)
- Length: (R-98MT) 4 m (13 ft 1 in); (R-98MR) 4.27 m (14 ft)
- Wingspan: 1300 mm (4 ft 3 in)
- Diameter: 280 mm (11 in)
- Launch weight: (R-98MT) 272 kg (600 lb); (R-98MR) 292 kg (642 lb)
- Speed: Mach 2
- Range: 23 km (14.4 mi)
- Guidance: (R-98MT) infrared homing; (R-98MR) semi-active radar homing
- Warhead: 40 kg (88 lb) blast fragmentation
- Gordon, Yefim. Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons. Midland. 2004. ISBN 1-85780-188-1
- Gordon, Yefim (2004). Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-188-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaliningrad R-8.|
- (Russian) R-8 on the site of aviation encyclopaedia «Sky corner» (airwar.ru)
- (Russian) R-98 on the site of aviation encyclopaedia «Sky corner» (airwar.ru)