Talk:R-77

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Merge[edit]

This needs to be merged with another R-77 article that is somewhere in Wiki. Please help find.

Uncited comparison[edit]

Regarding the FAS citation, how does "The most recent Russian R-77 medium-range missiles (AA-12 "AMRAAMSKI") is similar to and in some respects equal to the American AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles." [1], support the claim that "The missile, when compared to the AIM-120A, AIM-120B, and AIM-120C, is considered superior in range by most experts in the field"? FAS is an organization of pure scientists, not defense analysts, so they're hardly "experts" on the matter. The entire section is dripping with WP:OR--Mmx1 05:36, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Pure scientists have a tendency to know how to analyze data. IF the data they collected suggests the R-77 has greater range ("The R-77 missile has an active radar finder and a maximim range of 90-100 kilometers (50 km more than AMRAAM) and flies at four times the speed of sound."), I'd tend to assume they did their homework. In any case, it certainly is not difficult to believe that a larger missile has a longer range so in fact it would be the opposite claim that would require massive citation. Kazuaki Shimazaki 12:42, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Let's not assume bad faith. Literal OR is almost impossible w/ such a topic, so let's not confuse the lack for citations for genuine original research. Most enthusiasts accumulate data from countless sources throughout their "travels" in this military area of study - snippets from 5-year old journals, BBS discussions with people with enormous libraries under their command ... etc, of which only the most tiny fraction can be brought up from reciting. Kazuaki Shimazaki 12:42, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Enthusiasts do not qualify as "experts" not matter how scientific their training, if it is not specific to the matter at hand. Cite it however you'd like, but don't portray the FAS as "experts" in the field. They're very good information aggregators, but not a great primary source. --Mmx1 13:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
A 50km greater range than that of the AIM-120A? Where did you get that figure? The standard R-77 has has about a 15km greater range than the AIM-120A and AIM-120B. About maneuverability I find it hard to believe that those "potato masher" fins make the missile more maneuverable than the smaller AIM-120. I think it is just Russian hype supporting that idea. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.118.177.152 (talk) 09:28, 14 January 2007 (UTC).
Short answer to your first question is that it is the opinion of FAS. Longer answer is that AFAIK there are two ranges (~50,~74km) in common circulation for the AIM-120 and three ranges (~50km,~75km,~90-100) for the R-77 - not counting of course low-altitude ranges and rear-aspect ranges which are of course much shorter. Personally I buy the longer ranges for both sides myself, but FAS is of course "verifiable".
For your 2nd point, it sounds like stereotypical anti-Russian bias at work. Objectively, the R-77 is only marginally heavier (about 10%). It is hardly inconceivable that it can more than make up the difference if it has a better aerodynamic layout. Already, with the 10% difference it weight it has >10% superiority in range even by your assumptions (90/75=1.2). Besides, the Russians also used more conventional surfaces in other weapons, so it is hard to believe they left that unless there's a superiority in the lattices worth looking for.
To be very, very fair, there is a minority out there that thinks the lattices were a mistake (I've encountered the position once on a BBS). For a while, their position was on this article, and I left it even though it was uncited because I knew the position was somewhere and I wanted to give that faction a chance to show up. So far, I have yet to see their position repeated on even a webpage. Kazuaki Shimazaki 12:15, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding FAS and GlobalSecurity.org - to phrase it in Wikipedia terms ;-) , they're not at all known in the defense community for holding an NPOV attitude torwards the military. - Aerobird Target locked - Fox One! 15:43, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I assume that you left out "US" before "Defense community" and "military". By the time a military agrees something is "neutral" to what they think, it is probably 20 degrees biased their way :D
Anyway, NPOV is not a requirement for inclusion. Verifiability is. Kazuaki Shimazaki 12:15, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

The main problem when comparing missiles (and military equipment generally) is the comparison of raw data from tables. But the Russians have strong tendentions to overestimate their products. And most of the data in tables is based on prototype, which is always carefully designed and assembled. But this does not apply for serial production. For example: a Czechoslovak tank division, equiped with T-34-85 was inspected by a Soviet general. The tank crews were ordered to dismantle the cannon breach. Only after the inspection they ralized, that all dismantled parts were collected and that parts from one tank/gun do not match into other tank. Or when the ground crews "canibalized" airplanes for spare parts, they were forced to modify them in order to use them on other airplane, just because they did not fit where they should fit.

Also when comparing only external dimensions, nothing is said about the amount of propellant or the complexity of seeker head. When you use older (and of course larger) electronics in guidance part of the missile, you are forced to make it larger, thus limiting the amount of propellant inside. For example: AIM-9B and its copy, R-3S (AA-2 Atoll). Because of their external similarity, they should have similar performance. I discussed this with father of a friend of mine (former pilot of MiG-23MF and MiG-29, Czechoslovak Air Force). He told me, that they (pilots) never experienced the performance of (Soviet) missiles even close to the official numbers given them from the authorities. They were even forced to falsify the records from test fires in order to fill or exceed the norm. When he had the oportunity to compare western and eastern technology, he was wery upset to see the truth, which was very far from the information they were receiving for the last years. For example,the Soviets were even not able to copy the AIM-9B to the state that R-3S would have similar performance (due to the poorer performance of seeker and not so efective propellant). But the authorities always told them that the missiles were on par or that the R-3S was slightly better. Or they did not get any proper info on AIM-9L/M, instead they were told that these are NOT all-aspect missiles and are inferior to the rear aspect R-60 (AA-8). Or any info they got about SARH missiles in NATO inventory was based on AIM-9E performance in Vietnam war (at that time, AIM-7M was used). Based on the knowledge newly aquired after the fall of iron curtain, he told me that a flight of 4 F-15 armed with AIM-7M would shoot down the whole squadron of 12 MiG-23MF before they even got a chance to repeat the fire. And should the F-15 be armed with AMRAAM, the MiGs would be shot down before they even knew about F-15's.

Explanation of the word NORM: the NORM was a key word for socialistic, planned economy. Each factory, shop and even military units had to fit the standards given from authorities. For example, a paper factory had to produce a certain amount of rolls of toilet paper per month. Even if the demand was twice as high, they only filled the norm or exceeded it by 10-20 percent. Because exceeding the norm by more percent could lead to higher norms which probably could not be met. And the workers and their bosses pays were depending on the filing of the norm. And this all led to surplus of unnecessary, unimportant goods/services and shortage of necessary goods/services.

Interesting sources: "S. J. Zaloga: Red Thrust" and a very intersting article comparing F-16 and MiG-29: [2]

P.S.: My nickname Firkin-47 refers to Su-47, not to any other meanings. This is because the Su-47 is a miracle. The constructers managed to cancel the laws of Control theory (systems modeling and controling). They managed to create a totally unstable system that could be controled by a controler (much more sofisticated than a PID of course) which would increase the gain, phase margin and gain margin at the same time.

Firkin-47 11:26, 24 June 2010 (CEST)

Your anecdotes are interesting, if unsourced. Nevertheless, the relevance of stuff that happened almost 50 years ago with a modern weapon is truly unclear. Is it possible the Russians exaggerated (or just honestly misassessed) the performance of their weapon. Sure. Do we have proof? Not a hint yet, so...
As for the R-60 v AIM-9L sob story, I must wonder when it happened. Certainly by 1983 they had published an article that basically admitted the AIM-9 series now has frontal-attack capability (Aviation in the Lebanon Conflict). And for the "last years" of the Cold War, they can be more than happy to admit the AIM-9 has a all-aspect capability with the debut of the R-73 - that "wave of the future" that Dubrov must have been talking about in his article. Do also remember that even in the Falklands, the AIM-9L shots were actually rear-shots, which would hardly have made it clear to the Soviets that the all-aspect weapon has truly come to pass... Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 13:20, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
1.) The story of AIM-9L in Falkland conflict is interesting, from what I have heard up to today, the head-on launches of AIM-9L made the Argentinians do the same with their purely rear-aspect missiles, thus depleting them before being able to shoot from behind.
According to Sharkey Ward, those "missiles" were actually fuel tanks. Anyway, AFAIK though the AIM-9L is considered all aspect, at the end of the day the pilots wound up going for aft-shots. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
2.) As we in Czech republic say: "I sell as I have bought", meaning that I have no need to change / improve the other's story I am retelling. And that I didn't change it.
I didn't say you did. I did say what you wrote was unsourced. And let's face it, who DOESN'T say that? -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
3.) The relevance of, as you call it, 50 years old stuff is the same, as is the criminal record of chronicaly offender. If he's caught one street away from a scene of crime, with a loot in his pockets and has a criminal record as long as Homer's Odyssey, than it is highly unprobable, that he's innocent as he claims. The same it is with Russians, the history of their 40-50 years long occupation is 40-50 years long history of state / party supported lies. They lied about ecology, telling the people that the nature is much more devastated in the West. When the people had the chance to travel, they saw how they were bluffed. And the same was the economy, civil rights, "everyday" technologies. And the more to the East, the worse the situation was. They always exaggerated every product, every success. Why shouldn't they do that in the case of their weapons. And nowadays, Russians need to make advertisement for their weapons.
As I said, it is possible, but as you admit below, the potential of lying about weapons performance is universal, so you have to prove it is actually the case here, not just come up with 50-year old, unsourced stories -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
4.) Also, the NATO oficial places have need to exaggerate the performance of probably hostile weapon system. It's almost the only way to get more money. It reminds me of an report stating that F-15E is better in air-to-air role than F-15C. And of course the outcome of the report:"We need more F-22's instead of F-35's". Or another "official" report stating that M61A1 on F-22 is unsuitable because of it's starting up and that even M2's of Mustang were more suitable for dogfight. Lets calculate: when we omit the aerodynamic drag, we can asume, that the muzzle velocity is the same as the velocity of impact. In a 2 s burst, 6 M2 MG deliver 150 rounds at a speed of 880 m/s, thats 6,900 g and KE= 2,671,680 J. If we asume, that M61A1 starts up for the first second, we can omit this second (to make the favor for M2, can we say). In 1 s M61A1 delivers 100 rounds at a speed of 1030 m/s, thats 10100 g and KE= 5,357,545 J. And we didn't count in the explosives energy of cannon shots. Of course, somebody can say, that there is higher probability of hit with 150 bullets than with 100. But what damage makes 1 12.7 mm projectile and what damage makes 20 mm projectile (one shot is enough).
I hadn't read the papers you mentioned but see my answer for 3, and for the first two, they are actually defensible positions even as given. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
5.) There we come to another topic: I simply don't believe any source that I cannot verify. As I have shown, a simple calculation is enough to prove, that a so-called reputed source is only chasing it's own interests.
Ah, so you do understand the need for verifiability, which your claims currently don't have. Fortunately, the article I provided should be verifiable. It was enclosed as a RAND report that served as a critique. Look up R3000.pdf on the net. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
6.) You forgot the esential thing when writing about knowledge on AIM-9 available to WP and Soviets. The knowledge available to higher officers and politicians were NOT distributed to their subordinates in the way usual in the West. Just because the lack of knowledge is the strongest "weapon" for undemocratic regimes. How you make people stay in a country where their chance to study depends wheter their parents are workers, land workers or party members? You try to convince them, that their life would much more miserable outside their country. And how do you make a badly trained, badly equipped army to fight a better trained and equipped foe. You convince them, that the opposite is true. Thus there was no need to tell the truth abvout enemy weapons.
Not entirely true. Even Viktor Belenko, who defected and thus could hardly have a lower opinion of Soviet Russia, admitted in his book MiG-pilot that his instructors were fairly honest about the huge advantages of the F-14 and others versus 1970s Soviet aircraft. The average worker is one thing, but the fighters need to know what they are getting into, if only so they can make the most of their "bad equipment". -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
P.S.: You forgot, that I didn't wrote any anecdotes. If you think it's funny, it's only because the whole life in comunism is so absurd and riduculous. You also forgot, that almost all anecdotes are based on the truth. And the longer was the history of the country the history of foreign rule, the more are these anacdotes based on truth.
Firkin-47 17:25, 13 July 2010 (CEST)
I knew that anecdote = joke in Russian. I didn't know it was true in Czech as well. I meant anecdote in the Western sense, which describes stories like yours. Single point hearsay, little ability to verify and even harder to disprove.

Australian Air Power[edit]

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-BVR-AAM.html#Vympel_R-77__AA-12_Adder —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.214.184.229 (talk) 03:39, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Do yourself a favor and don't believe everything you see on the ausairpower site. Several articles contradict each other. For example, the F/A-18E/F is a great plane and a good upgrade for those who have earlier versions when the author flew it but now it's a clay pigeon for largely nonexistant Su-35s. If the Russian equipment is so dominant why doesn't Australia just buy some of it? Righteous9000 (talk) 22:21, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

There's no contradiction. He says the F/A-18E/F flies well and has very user friendly avionics, but it doesn't have the range, sustained speed ... etc to challenge the more modern Flankers. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:02, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Then why the big red disclaimer at the top of the 2001 article? Here are a couple of quotes from that article'
Probably because he belatedly realized that most people are not scientists and tend to read "in between the lines", even when it is not there -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 13:54, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
It's because the glowing review he gave it after flying it is, in fact, a recommendation to buy the plane. He states as much in the last sentence. It's the fact that his proposals for updating the F-111 went nowhere that he is now so adamantly against the aircraft that won out over updating the F-111 or giving it an A2A capability. McNamara tried that from the beginning. If F-111 had a useful A2A capability then the USN wouldn't have had the F-14.Righteous9000 (talk) 22:36, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
He said users of older Hornets "should not be disappointed" and you took it to mean "buy it" or "beats late model Flankers"? There is some correlation but the 3 are ultimately separate concepts. "Should not be disappointed" only mandates that it is at least as good as the old Hornet, without saying it can beat Flankers or it is right for Australia. "Buy it" requires among other things an assessment of threats to Australia, as well as other assets in Australia's military (example: the F/A-18E can be acceptable in a combined arms context with the F-111 and be a kludge alone), and of course the resources available. "It can beat late model Flankers" requires a comparison over a large variety of modes, but even that is not necessary a "buy" recommendation if the cost is too high (this is not necessarily just money, politics also comes into play here which is one reason why Carlo doesn't advocate that Australia just buy Flankers even though he thinks they are cheap and good), or it may be a disappointment if for example it is very advanced but requires many man-hours to maintain. Not to mention we are in 2010 and not 2001 now. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 11:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kazuaki Shimazaki (talkcontribs)
"In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30. The analogue and early generation digital flight controls with hard-wired or hard-coded AoA limiters used in the Russian aircraft are a generation behind the Super Hornet and a much more experienced pilot will be required for the Russian types to match the ease with which the Super Hornet handles high alpha flight regimes."
In other words, he flew it for 1 hour and pulled off some really great maneuvers after having them demonstrated once or twice. Basically, if a guy with one hour can have a go then what about someone with 500 or 1000 hours? Advantage, F/A-18E/F. He states that here, "hard-coded AoA limiters used in the Russian aircraft are a generation behind the Super Hornet and a much more experienced pilot will be required for the Russian types to match the ease with which the Super Hornet handles high alpha flight regimes." Righteous9000 (talk) 22:34, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it says how objective he is, to be able to fly a plane and like it, but still say that it does not have the goods to beat something else. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 11:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it says entirely what it says. In a regime that in Western air combat theory is held almost in contempt, the F/A-18E is relatively competitive. This position is actually retained in his 2007 article (though admittedly it feels different trapped in a pool of disadvantages." -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 13:54, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
"In conclusion, the reports of the Hornet's exceptional high alpha handling characteristics are provably correct. Established Hornet users should not be disappointed by this aircraft!"
Yes, it is a real improvement over the F/A-18C. The author might write the same thing over say the Su-27SM vs the good old Su-27 if he had a chance to fly it. It doesn't mean it would beat, for example, the F-22. Similar (though less extreme) situation here. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 13:54, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
He states unequivocally that F/A-18E/F is more than a match for Su-27/30 which includes Su-30MKK or MKI which were, and still are, the most advanced variants in service at the time of the 2001 article. You, and he, can't have it both ways. F/A-18E/F with -9X and its focal plane array > than Su-27/30 with R-73 and its scanning seeker. -9X will lock on faster and the -18E/F can maneuver with and, in the hands of the more experienced Western pilots you'll likely face, outperform it. He states as much in the cited text.Righteous9000 (talk) 22:34, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
He does NOT say Su-30MKKs or MKIs (you just wish he did), or even that the F/A-18E would win in the end, just that it would be a tough opponent (and remember, this is a minority regime held in much contempt by Western air combat theory, so even if he did say what you thought he said in the cite, it has little to do with whether Super Hornets beat Flankers in most situations). You may disagree with his answer and there may be some justification, but that's not the same as "Carlo said that". -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 11:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Australia is among the list noted in the second quote. It's at least part of the reason for the disclaimer at the top. Updated versions of Su-27/30, etc were in development and even fielded by 2001 so there's no reason not to include them in the 2001 article. The author basically calls them clay pigeons in the 2007 article. Keep in mind the author makes this claim about T-50/PAK-FA based upon a few photos, some dubious Russian comments and a couple of videos of test flights, "The available evidence demonstrates at this time that a mature production PAK-FA design has the potential to compete with the F-22A Raptor in VLO performance from key aspects, and will outperform the F-22A Raptor aerodynamically and kinematically. Therefore, from a technological strategy perspective, the PAK-FA renders all legacy US fighter aircraft, and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, strategically irrelevant and non-viable after the PAK-FA achieves IOC in 2015." This in spite of the fact that the Russians have admitted that the production engines aren't ready and the first batch ordered will not have them. The 2015 IOC is obviously very optimistic. That implies they have at least one squadron of production aircraft with trained pilots and support personnel, logistics and other components needed to deploy the aircraft to at least a regional conflict in which Russia has an interest. That's doubtful at best especially when Russia indicates they won't even buy in quantity until 2016.Righteous9000 (talk) 05:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Carlo actually does point out the first versions will use a slightly older engine. It would hardly be the first time modern weapons go IOC without everything installed. The Type 45 destroyers didn't have have antiair missiles when it was first commissioned - a slightly inferior engine isn't even on the same page. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 13:54, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
The YF-22 and YF-23 took to the air in 1990 with at least prototype versions of the productions engines. T-50 doesn't even have that. It could be a while before they work out the issues with the production representative engines. That's my point. In addition to the fact that no one on the planet is in a position to make the claims he does with respect to VLO and performance. Another article states that T-50 isn't, in its current configuration, a stealth aircraft. That's no good against an F-22 or even an F-35. You are correct that an inferior engine on an air superiority fighter isn't even on the same page as the lack of SAMs on a ship, but not in the way you intend. An inferior engine is actually more of a hamstring for an air superiority fighter than no SAMs for a ship since the engines provide the performance needed to beat your opponent. Inferior engines equals inferior performance and other restrictions which must be programmed into the flight management computer so the pilot doesn't exceed a limit. Basically, you need that extra thrust from the "production" engines.Righteous9000 (talk) 22:34, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
The PAK-FA engine does not have as far to go as the distance between even the late model F100-PW-229 engines and the F119s. And as for the idea that the primary weapons system of a ship is not more important than a minor degradation in performance of an aircraft ... without the SAMs the ship has almost no combat coefficient. With a inferior engine, in terms of kinematics the resulting product will only be mildly affected in the BVR regime and moderately so in the WVR regime. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 11:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

why so much comparision[edit]

Much is written about Comparision with AMRAAM rather than actual R-77 description.

It's just local sort of sport - find a pair of USA/USSR devices and compare them to death :-) --jno 13:44, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I think it had to do with the fact that many military statistics are rather meaningless except in comparison with comparable weapons. As an example, it could be written that the R-77 uses "potato-masher" fins. That's nice but it is absolutely meaningless, the more so to a layman (and encyclopedias must cater to the layman even more than the expert). I can then write that the configuration gives excellent maneuverability. That's nice but again unless you already know the significance (in which case you aren't that much of a layman) it's absolutely meaningless to you. If I write that the layout is superior in maneuverability to the "delta" configuration, that's better but you still have no clue because you may have no idea who uses the delta. But if I name the AIM-120, the significance is much more easily grasped and now you have information, not just data. Kazuaki Shimazaki 17:00, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Even in comparision it remains meaningless. You must compare "available overload" (still dunno english term for it) numeric values of the missile vs its targets (keeping in mind overall stability of missile control system, available energy of its engine, and power of warhead), not the form/technology of control surfaces. Just because efficiency of an AA/SA missile is not limited/defined by it maneurability. Hence, I see almost no reasons for such a "comparisions" in enciclopedic articles. Anyway, it's matter of POV - what should an eciclopedia provide: data, info, evaluations, POVs or whatever else. I prefer raw data accompanied by refs to "comparable" (same time, same functions) devices. If one need a comparision, she can do it on her own. --jno 10:54, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
There should be a comparison but in the context that these two missiles are extremely similar in terms of capability and function. They're both sophisticated, latest generation, maneuverable and versatile medium range missiles with terminal active radar homing and anti-jam capabilities.58.107.102.215 02:55, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

nonsense line[edit]

"The use of IR tracking in the terminal mode might be logical because at extended ranges the data link between the launch fighter and the missile might be interrupted, or the host radar may not detect jamming." Wow, that is nonsense. Whoever wrote that seems to have thought of this missile as being semi-active laser-guided. It's active laser guided, and an IR sensor provides no publicly known advantage over an active radar in the case of data link loss. "the host radar may not detect jamming"? What is this supposed to mean? Actually an IR-guided version makes sense against low RCS targets, targets with good ECM and decoys, due to the use of IRST by MiG-29 and Su-27's anyway and because it's simply an alternative to avoid having all eggs in one basket. 87.79.136.71 (talk) 11:18, 23 September 2008 (UTC) Lastdingo (talk) 11:19, 23 September 2008 (UTC) Fixed that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.241.18.31 (talk) 19:47, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Bias, advertisement?[edit]

This article appears to be commercially motivated from beginning to end. Not only is there a combination of marketing and WP:PEACOCK language, but there is much original research, some of which doesn't belong in an encyclopedia -- even with proper inline references -- which this article does not have. (Example: "Meanwhile, Western suppliers have been pushing into some traditionally Russian markets--while major customers such as India and China have been pursuing their own missile programs such as the Astra and the PL-12, respectively.")

I worked at a NASA research center specializing in aircraft for many years. Although I am not an expert in missiles, it seems highly suspect that there are missiles that would be effective in practice against a Patriot. How would such missiles be deployed? How could they activate within the few seconds necessary? I.e., it's a lie that in practice they would ever be used to thwart a Patriot.

The external links (that I can read) have very brief technical data. None of which addresses the article problems. Piano non troppo (talk) 06:52, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

While I agree this article is terrible, I think it is important to point out that your assumptions about the Patriot aren't that realistic. Most missiles only maintain top speed for the short period at the start, while they burn their rockets out. The Patriot is unlikely to be an exception so its flight time to a max range target would be at least 3 minutes. This is ample time to detect and fire upon a target that weighs as much as a small car and has a flame the size of a bus coming out the end. The difficulty is hitting something travelling at 1.6km/p/s. I assume ... the intention is to intercept on a head on course because a tail chase would be fruitless for an R-77 which is 1 entire mach slower. And this intention is PROBABLY helped by the fact that a Patriot travels towards a target, not 'evasively'. So if the plane is the target ... its pretty much a straight shot albeit with a lot of risk involved!--Senor Freebie (talk) 03:47, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much for responding, Senor Freebie. I was genuinely puzzled how a case could even be made. And you, at least have supplied some sort of framework for a possibility. Two basic queries about the hypothetical you put forward -- which apply equally to the Vympel R-77 and a hypothetical "Patriot killer". 1) If the Vympel-type missile is so much faster, why not use it, instead of the Patriot, to shot down ballistic missiles? It seems hard to believe that after decades of international research and development on the Patriot, the Russians working alone have come up with an alternative that's vastly better. If it's really that good, let's get started with production -- since nothing can shoot down a Vympel R-77 (?) 2) The pragmatic problem: I am Bad Country X. I'm going to land a nuclear missile on the Galapagos Islands. My enemy Z, has discovered my terrible plan, and ringed the islands with Patriots. But, aha!, Bad Country X has spies that found out about the Patriot deployment. Now all I have to do is place Vympel R-77s to shoot down the Patriots ... and I'll deploy them ... uh ... where? Piano non troppo (talk) 04:45, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Its not quite as simple as that. You're missing a few essential facts. For example, the Patriot missile is a ground launched SAM system and while it is the only system that has reputedly shot down a short range ballistic warhead in an actual war it is not the only one in production currently that has done so in tests or the one with the best record / ACTUAL capabilities. The R-77 however is NOT one of those missiles. It is distinctly different inpurpose and capabilities. For starters it is an air to air missile designed to be fired at fast, hot, maneouverable targets, very much like another missile. Ballistic warheads in the terminal phase however are NOT maneouvreable, hot or fast. They are incredibly fast. Moving at paces up to 10 times the speed of a jet or missile. Without the tracking systems or the right circumstances even the Patriot doesn't stand a hope of hitting one. Fortunately, during the 1990/91 Gulf War the USA had a variety of data linked detection systems, from AWACS, to satellites, to on the ground intelligence, to powerful ground radar capable of detecting incoming satellites providing them with an accurate picture of the trajectory of incoming missiles often as soon as they were launched. An R-77 on the other hand is only likely to have an aircrafts radar or IR systems. For a 'fast' (not incredibly fast) target this COULD be enough in special circumstances. However a Patriot moves slightly faster then the R-77's typical intended target so it wouldn't be an easy shot. That said, shooting ballistic missiles down with other missiles is a far tougher task due to the speed difference. The ONLY way you can pull it off is if you're between the launcher and the target and can fire before the warhead passes you.--Senor Freebie (talk) 12:51, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

I think, that when it was sad about using it against Patroit then it means that R-77 can be used for selfdefence against Patriots missile. No chase launch and so on. If it's creators realy sad those words, then they can/should be included for example as quotation. Other good sources that agree/disagree can be included too.--Oleg Str (talk) 10:15, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, someone needs to find an article that outlines the circumstances an R-77 could shoot down another missile in and perhaps any comments or estimations on its chances of success. Also, something to consider, it seems to be a significant factor how effective an anti-aircraft warhead is against a missile. Given wings are smaller and control surfaces perhaps tougher on a missile it is probably harder to destroy. This was the experience, to some degree of the Patriot when defending against SCUD's. There has been claims that even when it achieved a hit it did not stop the detonation of the warhead.--Senor Freebie (talk) 01:03, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Though not stated it seems that the claimed ability to hit a PATRIOT or another AAM is intended as a self-defense mechanism for the launch aircraft. It's not completely outside the realm of possibility that such an automated defense system could be placed in a fighter that would fire the missile response to the aircraft's radar detecting an inbound missile. The problem is the practical application of this system as modern SAMs and AAMs are designed to attack their targets from above. This could put them outside the detection limits of the radar and the aircraft would have to face the missile to launch it's own R-77. As the missile is heading toward the aircraft the speed problems would be reduced especially given that an inbound missile would be slowing down from it's burnout velocity.Righteous9000 (talk) 06:00, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Citation needed?[edit]

Quoting from the article:

Like most AAM weapons, the claimed range is for a non-maneuvering target, at a high altitude, and probably on a head on aspect with a respectable closing rate. Lower altitudes, rear aspect, or maneuvering targets will all reduce this range, but the same applies to the AMRAAM[citation needed].

If we assume the laws of aerodynamics weren't somehow canceled out during the AIM-120's development cycle, why is there a need for a citation addressing this point? In other words, why is there a need to prove that the AMRAAM is susceptible to the laws of physics?

No reason other than the usual demands for citations from editors who do not agree with the statement in question - even if it is a self evident point fact... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.144.10.148 (talk) 22:59, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Description about the Vympel from the Orujie Katalog[edit]

Just thought I post this and see what yall think.

"The missile is designed to engage fighters, attack aircraft, bombers, airplanes and helicopters of military transport aviation in air combat at any time of day or night, under VFR and IFR conditions, from any direction against an earth or sea background in hostile EW and maneuver environments. The RVV-AE missile can intercept targets flying at speeds of up to 3,600 km/h at altitudes ranging from 0.02 to 25 km. The minimum range of aft hemisphere launch is 300 m. The maximum vertical separation of targets and the carrier in level flight may reach 10 km. The RVV-AE does not impose limitations on the carrier g-load at the instant of launch. The missile is of a normal configuration with folding gridwork control surfaces, which permits its conformal and intrafuselage carriage on the parent aircraft and determines its high agility. The RVV-AE is fitted with an active radar homing head and radio corrected inertial navigation control system, which permits on-trajectory target lockon (multichannel ability) and missile retargeting. The active radar homing head enhances the carrier's independence and effectively implements the fire-and-forget principle. The RVV-AE considerably outperforms foreign Sparrow, Sky Flash, Matra missiles and, by a number of parameters, the American AIM-120A AMRAAM. The RVV-AE missile increases the effectiveness of aircraft in air combat, long-range inclusive, owing to its multichannel ability, high independence and ability of in-flight repointing to a nonengaged or more vital (dangerous) target."

Max launch range (at fighter/bomber type target), km 50/80 Launch weight, kg 175 Warhead weight, kg 22,5 Warhead type rod (with multiple HEAT munitions) Guidance system active radar Target g-load, g 12 Fighter type target kill probability 0.6 - 0.7 Overall dimensions (length x diameter x fin span), m 3.6 x 0.2 x 0.75

Note, this inventory catalog is of a pure Russian source. The version I obtained was translated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Victory in Germany (talkcontribs) 04:54, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Sources accuracy / fair-mindedness[edit]

I edited the quoted missile ranges to make the article more fair-minded. The reader herself / himself can decide which numbers are the accurate ones without being influenced by (so-called) reputed sites. Just because the data can be outdated or are not based on previously unknown, more accurate knowledge. And because we in Czech republic have an old saying: "Duveruj ale proveruj" ("Believe but verify / check").

For example: if a reputed mathematician says that "1+1=1,000,000" it does not necessarily mean that this is true.

Second example: On one hand the data from [3] correspond with info on R-27 and R-60 I got from a former Czechoslovak MiG-23 and -29 pilot, thus I assume that data on R-77 are similarly accurate. (See section Uncited comparison). On the other hand you can find discrepancies on reputed site in AIM-7 and -120 ranges comparison: Specifications section [4] and [5] versus Engagement envelope picture on [6].

Firkin-47 10:40, 12 July 2010 (CEST)

According to the Russian Arm's Catalog, the R-77 has a 50 km range to a fighter-type target and a 80 km range to a bomber type target. Victory in Germany (talk) 21:42, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I think that this is exactly a good example of information you cannot trust. Current russian military industry is strongly oriented on export, so they need advertisement. It would be of no use for them to use lower numbers in their catalog. Have a look at this [7], the part "Combat Scenario" of the first contribution explains quite enough about this problematics.
Well, I've read that article (elsewhere but it is the same text), but I'll point out it only represents one view out of many. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
And I think, that the same (you cannot trust) applies for so-called experts who were quick to report how inaccurate and underestimated reports from Ethiopia-Eritrea war are (about R-27 performance - the kill ratio for R-27 may be as low as 0.04 - in other words 1 kill of 24 launched missiles). On the other hand, none of these "experts" recognized that the reports on AIM-7M performance in Gulf war (cca 0.4 kill ratio - ten times higher) may be also inaccurate and underestimated from the same reasons they use in the first case. I think, these "experts" would never recognize that the same limits and restrictions apply for both sides.
Certainly, it'll be harder to blame missile maintenance under US hands in Saudi Arabia than it would be in Ethiopia... anyway, the kill rate may be as high as 5/18 too. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Or another example: the story of Serbian MiG-29s lost in combat. I found tens or hundreds of sites describing how their radars and RWRs were inoperable. But I never found a reliable source describing it. I even found a site where someone who claimed to be USAF pilot told how he was illuminated be MiG-29's radar in a combat where others tell, that the radar was inoperable. We have a saying for this too:"Hundred times repeated lie becomes the truth"
Firkin-47 19:55, 13 July 2010 (CEST)
And the USAF pilot could not be mistaken or have his own reasons to lie... -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Changing the values to the ones you personally prefer on the basis of a unsourced friend is not called "fair-minded". However, it is perfectly possible for a 90km kinematic range rocket to have "launch range" of 40km when tactical and technical considerations are factored, so I'll let it go.
For Globalsecurity, to be fair, they did say above. And in any case, you cannot really take that diagram and use it to definitively refute an assertation the AIM-7 has more range (leaving aside the general truth or falseness of the assertation). The kinematic range is not plotted on the diagram - its intent seems more to show how the multi-mode guidance system of the AMRAAM allows it to not be sensor-limited like the pure-SARH of the AIM-7M. However, it would be obviously with a more powerful illuminator or a larger target RCS than assumed in the chart, the AIM-7's range may well be stretched, while a larger target RCS would not benefit a command link. Thus it is actually possible the AIM-7 has better kinematics and thus better range in certain situations, at least according to the diagram. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 14:10, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
1.) In fact it's quite new and interesting information for me, that a fighter pilot, who has experienced the true performance of a weapon is NOT a source, while a page which relies on photos and external dimensions IS.
Until there is some verfiability for said fighter pilot, that's the way it is. To be blunt at the moment we have it on blind faith he even exists. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
2.) What you wrote is exactly what I didn't meant. I meant, that it is strange, when a picture shows quite the opposite than what is writen almost on the same page. Of course the AIM-7 can have a "better" range. When we omit larger diameter (and aerodynamic drag), older propellant, progress in electronics,... I understand, that it is attractive to say that larger missile has longer range and thus omit the aerodynamic drag, propellant's impulse of power, electronics quality. And in fact, we cant even say that larger missile houses more peopellant. Because it says nothing about the dimensions of guidance section and warhead (heavier doesn't automatically mean larger, nor does it mean more powerfull).
As I said, my answer was not to debate whether at the end of the day, the Sparrow has more range than AMRAAM. The point was to show how you cannot use the diagram to prove your point. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
3.) It would be very interesting to know your opinion about Globalsecurity or similar pages from the west, should they write the opposite (longer ranges for US missiles etc.). I assume the it would be similar to the ones I experienced in Czech discussion forums: Every .com or .org site is only accurate when it's data are "in favor" of russian / soviet techonlogy. Otherways it is propaganda. And every .ru site is propaganda, when it writes about any single flaw in russian / soviet designs. Because from your contribution it seams to me, that only russian-favouring sources and sites are correct, accurate and fair-minded (for you).
Well, wouldn't the opposite be true for you. However, at least for the range issue I can agree to disagree and restrain myself to just changing all the numbers. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
4.) As for you accusation of me:"Changing the values to the ones you personally prefer...". We have a saying for this too: "Zlodej krici chytte zlodeje" (A thief yells: "catch the thief"), meaning that the first one to accuse other part / opposition of the dispute is more likely to be the one doing the things of which he accuses the other.
At the very least, I have not stripped your numbers off. And it is also true that a person that keeps screaming he is being fair is likely to be the opposite. -Kazuaki Shimazaki (talk) 05:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
P.S.: We also have a saying:"Rough patch on a rough bag" or "What you yell into forest, that is echoing from the forest", both meaning that you receive the same treatment you give to others. So don't feel touched, you asked for it.
Firkin-47 18:20, 13 July 2010 (CEST)
I provided you with a copy and paste of what the Catalog states. As long as you throw out the obvious bias, it's pretty clear cut from there. And please, those stats were from the Manufacturer, we should trust at least some of it, and not throw them all away. Victory in Germany (talk) 23:08, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

OK. I will end the talk (at least from my side). All that we can agree is that we totally disagree. And I see no point in continuing such discussion. And you were right, there is no father of friend of mine, who was a pilot. It was me (the pilot) (and still is - meaning that I can compare). And I had very good time reading your attempts to persuade me, that you know better the parameters of the weapons I was using. Very funny. So... Have a nice day, gentlemem :-) Firkin-47 (talk) 15:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)


True ranges[edit]

The AA missile range issue exists because the most of people don’t understand how firing conditions are important. For example: AIM-120A has a max range of 20km near ground and 120km at 20km altitude.

For example: R-77 missile is claimed to have 80km range. In fact at most usable firing conditions the range is only 35km. This is a source from a Russian Mig-29 manual(for R-27R missile - just to picture how range changes with altitude and apsect): http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/3573/86610817.jpg

As you can see – at 10km altitude or a head on, high closing speed shot you can achieve 35km range. However manufacturer claims 70-80km range. This is because such range is achieved at 20km altitude where the air is thinner and the missile produces less drag.

Here are charts for AIM-120A and R-77. http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/1328/aim120ranges.gif -- http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/1843/r7722y.jpg As you can see AMRAAM has ~20% greater range than the R-77. There are two reasons for that: R-77 is 10% heavier but has only 5% bigger motor, so despite bigger size the R-77 doesn’t have better fuel fraction! Second thing is that it is bigger and has lattice fins and this combination produces a lot of drag. More drag=shorter range. Exec99 (talk) 13:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

So a couple of random charts from unspecified and sourced locations means we have to change everything? Anywho, if you truly believe what you say is so, than make sure to contact the AIM-120 page about it, they want to know how it went from 48 km to 120 km. Also, big problem for your first graph; it says R-27 at the bottom. Unless I'm misunderstanding Cyrillic, that isn't the graph you're looking for. Victory in Germany (talk) 08:38, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

"Lower altitudes, rear aspect, or maneuvering targets will all reduce this range, but the same applies to the AMRAAM [citation needed]". I don't understand why is it marked with citation needed, could anyone explain please or remove it? That applies to all self propelled flying objects, planes, rockets etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.40.65.63 (talk) 21:19, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


The first graph is for R-27R missile just to picture how range changes with altitude and aspect to target. These are not some random charts. They are from aircrafts manuals and the graph for R-77 is from it's manufacturer(Vympel) brochure. Also - 120km range for AIM-120 is only a theoretical max range at extremely high (never really used) altitude against closing non-maneuvering target. -exec — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.70.104.24 (talk) 08:11, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

What does this have to do with R-77?[edit]

As well as upgraded air-to-air systems, TRV will showcase an extended-range version of its Kh-35/3M-24 (AS-20 Kayak/SS-N-25 Switchblade) anti-ship missile. The Kh-35UE will have a maximum engagement range of 260 km., compared with the 130 km. range for the basic Kh-35. Zvezda-Strela, the company which originally designed the Kh-35/3M-24, is also now part of TRV. In 1997, company literature discussed the 3M-24E1 variant of the missile as part of the Uranium anti-ship missile system for surface ships. This proposed version of the weapon had a claimed range of range of 250–300 km.

This appears to be from a sales brochure of some kind and it does not relate to the R-77. Unless someone can come up with a valid reason for leaving it I will delete it. If you want to discuss TRV's products then start a page for that company.Righteous9000 (talk) 00:50, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Comparison with AMRAAM Section[edit]

I've noticed this page has a "Comparison with AIM-120 AMRAAM" section while the reciprocal is not the case with the AMRAAM page. Is there any reason this is even needed? I believe not since there is no such counterpart on the AMRAAM page. Additionally, there is information in it that is suspect at best. The ranges for the "R-77M Ramjet" or RVV-AE-PD come from Russian sources but there is another name listed in the text. Kopp uses Russian sources to make the tables and statements on his pages. Here is such a statement," A rocket-ramjet variant of the missile has been in development since the 1990s, as a counter to the EU Meteor. Designated the RVV-AE-PD, and often labelled the R-77M, this weapon is claimed to achieve an A-pole range of 86.5 NMI. It is unclear what the production status of this model is." If Kopp states a weapon is claimed to have a certain capability then he is obviously not the originator of that information. If the information is to be included it should be cited as such. The simple fact is that it comes from a Russian arms brochure. Additionally, Kopp makes the following statements on the site with regards to the range, "The Vympel R-77M-PD RVV-AE-PD (Povyshlenayya Dal'nost') ramjet Adder is credited with an A-pole range of around 80 nautical miles. This missile is a direct derivative of the R-77 series, but like the MBDA Meteor for the Eurofighter Typhoon, employs ramjet propulsion to extend its burn duration and range. It will provide much higher endgame G capability than the baseline R-77 airframe." So, is it 86.5nm or only "around 80"?. That's a difference of almost ten percent. It's not trivial. The fact is Kopp doesn't know. He is just quoting the media guides for the various systems. Further, it is not really a good idea to compare a missiles that has been fired in tests and is scheduled to be delivered in June 2011 (AIM-120D) with one that doesn't really exist except on paper (R-77M).-120D Tests

I found the completed statement under the Range part of this section as well. It follows, "The R-77's main superiority compared to the AIM-120 AMRAAM (or at least, the published data available on the main production versions, the AIM-120A and AIM-120B), is in range. The longer range is because the R-77 is a larger 200 mm vs 178 mm (8 vs 7 in), heavier 175 vs 150 kg (386 vs 335 lb) missile than the AMRAAM and contains more powerful propellant. Like most AAM weapons, the claimed range is for a non-maneuvering target, at a high altitude, and probably on a head on aspect with a respectable closing rate. Lower altitudes, rear aspect, or maneuvering targets will all reduce this range." Range Claim I can't help but notice a very important part of the statement, which is highlighted in bold, has been left out. The A and B versions have been out of production for some time now and are not representative of the capabilities of -120C much less -120C-7 or -120D.

In short, the Comparison with AMRAAM Section belongs on this discussion page and not in the main article. Hopefully, someone can rectify this before I do it.--Righteous9000 (talk) 04:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

On your first question, Kopp uses very specific grammar. "Claimed - 160 km" and "Credited - 148 km". You cannot state that he does not know, because he could of gotten the 160 km from your theory of a Russian brochure and the 148 km from Russian tests. And I think you are also doing that section no good by only choosing to remove the citation for the R-77M's range claim and completely ignoring the AIM-120D's range claim which doesn't even have a citation at all. Also, if you wish for a non-Kopp citation of the R-77M's range, you can have this: http://warfare.ru/?linkid=2356&catid=262

Second, you should know that they are not comparing R-77 v.s. AIM-120C-7 or AIM-120D. They are comparing baseline models, R-77 v.s. AIM-120A. Unless you wish to compare the latest of the latest, then we can arrange that, but as it stands, we are comparing with the AIM-120A. If you'd like, we could include that in the opening sentence for the section, to state that it is a comparison with the AIM-120A and not any other variant.Victory in Germany (talk) 07:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

If they aren't comparing R-77 variants to AIM-120D then why is this phrase in the text? "However, newer development versions of the AIM-120 AMRAAM possess greater ranges than the R-77. The AIM-120D is suspected to have a range up to 120 km (75 mi)[citation needed]. However, estimates from Carlo Kopp of Air Power Australia states that the newest developments of the R-77, the R-77M Ramjet, would have a range of 160 km (99 mi)[11]" You also ignored the fact that -120D exists and R-77M does not. Hence, my statement about comparing actual missiles and not planned types that are just hollow metal mockups shown at MAKS.Righteous9000 (talk) 12:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I did not write the second paragraph of the Range comparison section so I would not know. But your simple deletion of the R-77M's range claims and your complete ignorance of the AIM-120D's claim is the problem. Anyways, you're going to have to show your proof that the R-77M does not exist. As hard as that might seem, you will also have to find proof that the AIM-120D's range is supposedly 120 km. So, until any of that is found by you, the main gist of that 2nd paragraph should stay as it is, grammar edits are welcome. Victory in Germany (talk) 16:15, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Until you find proof that Ramjet Adder has been fired then it is a purely hypothetical item. I haven't been able to find anything. -120D goes into service next year and I've seen ranges up to 110nm for that which seems too high. As I have stated before Kopp is simply parroting what he gets from biased Russian sources. Also, he is clear, as I cited previously, that the production status of Ramjet Adder is unclear. Unless you have something better I will keep deleting the Comparison section because it does not belong in the first place and the information for both missiles is suspect.Righteous9000 (talk) 06:08, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

As I have stated before, if you do not want Kopp, go to warfare.ru, they make the same claim. Also, a simple search of google will yield your desired results, and the ranges for the AIM-120D would also come to question as you also have no proof of it's range. And, deletion of an entire section without discussion would be a violation of Wikipedia's policy. Just a warning. As I have stated before, the comparison between the AIM-120D and the R-77M1 does not need to be there, as you have not even provided the slightest hint of the AIM-120D's range, thus, it is an uncited and untrustworthy estimate. So, I will revert your revision and delete the 2nd paragraph of the Range section. Victory in Germany (talk) 08:49, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Here's a range citation for -120D from the June 2009 edition of Defence Review Asia, "Another extended range missile under work is ramjet version of the R-77 (export designation RVV-AE), dubbed “AMRAAMski” in the West. The initial R-77 entered service in 1994 and by now has been exported to several countries, including China and India. It is believed that its latest version under development shall match the AIM-120C-9 (AIM-120D), with range extended to 170-180km. Initial proposals of such a derivative surfaced in mid-1990s." Note it indicates that -120D has a range of up to 180km which is about 97nm. Assuming this is the case then -120D still has a longer range. Regardless, the comparison should not be in the main body of the text.Righteous9000 (talk) 13:18, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

It might be me, but what I think they meant was that the "ramjet version of the R-77 still matches the AIM-120D, (but has it's) range extended to 170-180 km." If any thing, they might actually be referencing to a further development of the R-77M. But no, there has already been arguments against a comparison section, but I do not see why not. Many other articles have comparison sections(although they do it with a chart). If you wish, I or someone else could reformat the Comparison section to a non-bias and only numbers based comparison. Victory in Germany (talk) 13:45, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Comparison with AIM-120 AMRAAM[edit]

Range[edit]

The R-77's main advantage over the AIM-120 AMRAAM is in range and maneuverability. The longer range is because the R-77 is a larger 200 mm (7.9 in) vs 178 mm (7.0 in), heavier 175 kg (386 lb) vs 150 kg (330 lb) missile than the AMRAAM and contains more propellant. Like most AAM weapons, the claimed range is for a non-maneuvering target, at a high altitude, and probably on a head-on aspect with a respectable closing rate. Lower altitudes, rear aspect, or maneuvering targets will all reduce this range, but the same applies to the AMRAAM[citation needed].

However, newer development versions of the AIM-120 AMRAAM possess greater ranges than the R-77. The AIM-120D is suspected to have a range up to 120 km (75 mi)[citation needed]. However, estimates from Carlo Kopp of Air Power Australia states that the newest developments of the R-77, the R-77M Ramjet, would have a range of 160 km (99 mi)[1]

Maneuverability[edit]

The missile's maneuverability relies on the lattice work fins at the rear. The R-77's overall aerodynamic configuration is more efficient at high speed and high angles of attack than the conventional deltas used on the AIM-120 and most other missiles. This reduces the loss of energy when the R-77 is chasing a maneuvering target[2]. However, near Mach 1, oblique shock waves can substantially increase drag of the lattice fins and reverse their advantage [3]. If the missile was fired at a range long enough for it to decelerate to low Mach speeds, it would deplete its energy very quickly while maneuvering. The increased drag would also hamper the carrying aircraft at certain speeds unless the fins were folded or the missiles were stored internally. Nonetheless, the weapon is reported to be able to handle a target maneuvering at up to 12g,[4] a substantially higher rate than any manned fighter.

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