In early 1962 the Bisnovat design team began working on the R-40 (K-40), a new long-range missile intended for use with the the MiG-25-40 high- altitude interception system, consisting of the MiG-25 aircraft with Smerch-A radar set and the R-40 missile. Though only slightly larger than the predecessor R-4, the range of the R-40 is over three times greater. This missile was produced in two variants: R-40R (Object RD46 with PARG-12 head) and R-40T (Object TG-46).

After the defection of a MiG-25P to Japan on 06 September 1976, an extensive redesign of the aircraft was undertaken, resulting in the MiG-25PD interception system. Instead of the Smerch-A, a Sapfir-25 radar was installed. The new missile R-40D and its R-40D1 update ("dorabotanaya" [more elaborate]) were produced in two variants R-40RD and R-40TD, both featuring improved countermeasures resistance and a more sensitive homing head to improve performance against low-flying targets. The R-40D1 missile was developed by the Vympel team, the Molniya team having by that time withdraw from development of aircraft missiles. The R-40 is still included among the weapons of MiG-25 and MiG-31 aircraft, although production was discontinued in 1991.

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