R-77 / AA-12 ADDER - Program
In the second half of the 1970s, both in the United States and in the USSR, efforts to create air-to-air class concepts of the next generation with qualitatively new characteristics and combat capabilities are intensifying. To this end, large-scale landfill studies were conducted in the United States to develop concepts for air combat weapons under the AIMVAL / ACEVAL (Air Intercept Missile Evaluation / Air Combat Evaluation) program.
Development of the missile is believed in the West to have begun around in 1982. Research and development of medium-range missiles with a mass of not more than 160-165 kg, equipped with an active radar GOS, was launched in the Soviet Union since the late 1970s. The Air Force wanted to have a missile weapon in its arsenal that was not inferior to the similar developments of the probable enemy - the US and the NATO countries. At the same time, this missile was supposed to be interfaced with new radar systems being developed at that time for advanced domestic Su-27M and MiG-29M fighters. Experimental design development of the K-77 missile was conducted by a joint team of designers of the ICB "Vympel" and KB "Molniya" headed by G.A. Sokolovsky under the direct supervision of V.A.Pustovoitova. This development was completed under the leadership of V.G.Bogatsky
the development of an active CGS for short- and medium-range air-to-air missiles with limited dimensions and weight not exceeding 20 kg without a fairing in the early 1980s was an extremely complex scientific and technical task. Since the guidance of this class was not developed in the USSR earlier, and there was no information on the development of the AMRAAM missile, it was necessary to find, without orientation to analogs, acceptable engineering solutions for a number of complex scientific and technical problems.
Based on the experience of working on grating fins and an electric drive received during the creation of the Bissector missile, the leaders of the Vympel ICB - AL Lyapin, GA Sokolovsky and VA Pustovoitov - made a decision on the appearance of the K-77 missile. The direct development of the K-77 missile (Product 170) began in 1982 in response to the American AMRAAM (AIM-120A) medium-range missile. A distinctive feature of these missiles were their relatively small size and mass for medium-range missiles, while for the first time active radar homing systems were used for the first time for this class and the "fire-and-forget" principle was realized. Before that, both Soviet R-23R (R-24R) and American-type AIM-7 Sparrow missiles had semi-active radar homing, with which the carrier aircraft had to illuminate the target with its radar until the detonation of the combat unit itself. And this affected maneuvers in evading counter strikes and reducing the combat effectiveness of the aircraft carrier itself.
Work on active radar guidance for medium-range missiles began in the USSR in the late 1970s. The customer (Air Force) was very worried about the creation of an intermediate-range missile with the ARGS, and in 1979 two parallel works were created to create the ARGS: - the research work Soyuz, which was jointly carried out by the Istok NGO and the NIOP-3 NIIP with Research "Agat", which was carried out by NIO-3 in cooperation with the NGO "Almaz" (Saratov) under the leadership of IG. Hakobyan.
The scientific and technical reserve created in the course of the research and development work "Agat" and the research work "Soyuz" made it possible to move to the R&D for the creation of the guidance for the medium-range air-to-air missiles R-27A and R-77 in 1982 systems for armament of Su-27, MiG-29, Yak-41 fighters and their modernized variants.
As a result, a multipurpose monopulse Doppler active radar gudiance system [ARGS] 9B1348, developed by MNII "Agat" was chosen for serial rockets. The work on the creation of 9B-1348, initiated by NIO-3 NIIP in 1982, was continued at the Agat Research Institute. In 1987 9B-1348 was at the stage of flight-design tests (LCI) as part of the missile. In the same year, several test launches were carried out under the LCI program with positive results. In 1988, LCI ARGS 9B-1348 as part of the missile was completed and since 1989 the State trials began. In 1990, the state tests of the K-77 missile with ARGS 9B-1348 were successfully completed.
Serial production of ARGS 9B-1348 began at the Kiev plant "Kommunist" ("Radar"), but after the collapse of the USSR production was discontinued and all the long-term efforts to develop this product by the plant "Kommunist" ("Radar") were in vain.
By 1983, the main stage of development of the K-77 missile was completed, industrial enterprises began to manufacture individual units and a unit of the product, the assembly of the first prototypes of the K-77 air-launched missile began. Since May 1984, an experimental MiG-29 (No. 919) was used to test the K-77 missile. Since December 1984, the second MiG-29 (No. 923) was involved in the tests, and later other aircrafts. In 1984, a new missile K-77 was launched into mass production.
The development of radar homing heads for the modified K-77M missile was set in 1987 in two versions: active CSG 9B-1348M1 and semi-active 9B-1348M2. The work on the creation of ARGS 9B-1348M1 was carried out in a somewhat modified cooperation with ARGS 9B-1348. The role of the lead developer was assumed by the Research Institute "Agat". The development was entrusted to the Chief Designer VP Gerasimov. The Istok NGO had to rework a number of units in order to increase the range of capture and improve the characteristics of the ARGS according to the technical specifications of the Agat Research Institute. However, the financial disruptions that began did not allow this work to be carried out as scheduled. But the need for work has not disappeared and it continues. Panasenko Yu, D., Mokhonko AB, Kadykov V.Yu., Goryunov AA, Pyzhikov V.P., Shubin Zh.S. actively participated in the works on the creation of ARGS 9B-1348M1 (besides Gerasimov VP).
Work on the creation of ARGS 9B-1348M2 was assigned to laboratory No. 732 (head Borzenko GM). During 1988, the development of technical proposals for the creation of ARGS 9B-1348M2 was carried out and its first experimental model was manufactured and tuned. During 1989 and 1990, the development of the advance design of ARGS 9B-1348 was carried out. In addition, two samples of ARGS were manufactured and set up, which were delivered to the Vympel ICB, where they were tested as part of a missile. Later, in 1994 this work was suspended
The state tests of the K-77 were completed in 1991, and on February 23, 1994, the missile under the designation "R-77" wasofficially accepted into the Russian Army. Serial production of R-77 missiles was to be deployed to KPO them. Artema (Ukraine), there was even sent design documentation, the preparation of serial production of these missiles began. But the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union did not allow this to come to pass, and production was moved to Russia by the Moscow JSC "Dux".
The R-77-1 is the latest and most capable medium range air-to-air missile it in the Kremlin’s inventory, but the Russian Air Force has only a limited stock of the weapons. Russians are actively working on saving airframe life on their newest missiles while using as many of their older weapons as possible because they believe the chances of an air-to-air confrontation with allied airpower to be fairly remote.
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