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MAA-1B Piranha
MAA-1B Piranha.jpg
MAA-1B Piranha
Type Short-range air-to-air missile
Place of origin Brazil
Service history
Used by Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Navy
Production history
Manufacturer Mectron
Unit cost $250-300k[1]
Produced 2013- (scheduled)[2]
Length 2.738 metres (107.8 in)[2]
Laser proximity fuse

Engine Solid-fuel rocket
Wingspan 0.64 metres (25 in)[2]
~12 km[3]
Infrared homing
Combat aircraft

MAA-1B Piranha is a Brazilian 4th-generation air-to-air missile produced by Mectron under joint venture program with Airbus Defence and Space.[4] The project is at final stage of development under qualification phase, with over 40 guided flights completed by April 2012. Production was expected to begin in 2013.[2]


The new missile will equip the Brazilian Air Force's F-5M, AMX A-1M and Super Tucano aircraft.[2]

The missile is fitted with a dual-color seeker, featuring 70-degree look angle with 40 degrees per second track rate,[2] and a 50% longer range, as well as maneuverability improvements achieved by changing the original missile's flight controls aerodynamics. The MAA-1B is capable of being appointed by the aircraft's radar or the HMD helmet.

Piranha missile[edit]

The Mectron / CTA / IAE / Avibras presented a new set of air-air missile MAA-1B (Bravo) during LAAD 2007. The missile uses the main structure of the fuselage, the warhead and proximity fuze and impact of the MAA-1A (Alpha), the rest being completely new. The new dual-band sensor (UV and IR) has 80% of nationalization, with great capability against countermeasures, high off-boresight capability (up to 90 degrees) with a very high speed browser and can be pointed at the target by radar at the pilot's helmet or perform autonomous search. The autopilot is programmed to monitor the type "lag pursuit" in a frontal engagement similar to the Python-4.

The canard configuration is of type double, composed of four fixed canards, followed by four mobile canards and two fins to control longitudinal spin. The withdrawal of rollerons suggests that the missile has a digital autopilot system that is necessary for high-speed missiles. The actuator has twice the power of the actuators of the Alpha model and can pull 60 g's. The engine will have new propellant "smokeless" increased the range up to 50% with boost from two stages that burn for six seconds instead of two seconds of the MAA-1A Piranha. The pilot can choose the type of mode of operation according to the threat, optimizing performance for each target. The length and diameter were kept, but the weight increased a little. The software will be different for the F-5em not perceive it as being a MOR-1A and not enjoy its full capacity. The infrared thermographic camera sensor of Indium antimonide and lead telluride has six elements with large search range. The missile can be considered the Fourth Generation, regarded by experts as superior to the Russian R-73 but less than the Israeli Python IV, with much lower price than similar ones on the market. The estimated cost is $ 250-300 thousand.

The period of development was much faster in the light of lessons learned from the MAA-1A Piranha. The project was started in 2005 with the pre-series production is planned for the second half of 2008, with testing and approval by the end of 2008. The operation is scheduled for 2009. Project MAA-1B received a budget of $ 3 million in 2006. Also in 2006 was completed the eighth stage of the project (11 in total). The conclusion of the eleventh phase is expected for October 2008.

In November 2008, three ground firing trial were conducted at Avibras facility, the tests were part of the stage of proof requirements and were successful. The improvement of the propulsion system of the missile is being conducted jointly by the IAE (Institute of Aeronautics and Space), and Mectron, Avibrás.[5]

Users and potential future operators[edit]



Comparable weapon[edit]


  1. ^ "MAA-1 PIRANHA" (in Portuguese). Retrieved: 13 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wall (2012), p. 79
  3. ^ a b "Paquistão negocia míssil com empresa de São Paulo" (in Portuguese). Folha Online, 9 November 2009. Retrieved: 13 January 2012
  4. ^ Trimble (2011), p. 9
  5. ^ "IAE faz ensaio do Missil MAA-1B" (in Portuguese). Brazilian Air Force. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  • Trimble, Stephen (26 April 2011). Morrison, Murdo, ed. "Brazil's Arms Sector Blooms". Flight International (Sutton, UK: Reed Business Information) 179 (5288): 9. ISSN 0015-3710. 
  • Wall, Robert (23 April 2012). Velocci, Anthony, ed. "Guided Trajectory". Aviation Week & Space Technology (New York, USA: McGraw-Hill): 79–80. ISSN 0005-2175. ;