K-60 (R-60, Object 62)
The AA-8 NATO Aphid is a short-range, maneuverable, infrared guided air-to-air missile, capable of carriage by most Soviet aircraft. The AA-8 has a shorter range thanthe AA-2, AA-6, and AA-7 infrared guided variants but is more maneuverable in the visual dogfight. The AA-8 is susceptible to infrared countermeasures.
Toward the end of the 1960s the Molniya design bureau begin working on the first missile for tactical air combat, the K-60 (R-60, Object 62), with infrared self-guidance. Series production of this missile began in 1973, with the R-60 missile being certified as a weapon for a variety combat aircraft.
The R-60 missile is an unusually small missile, weighing half as much as the lightest Western missiles, with a correspondingly small warhead which weighs barely 3.5 kg). The R-60 on attack aircraft such as the MiG-27, Su-24 or Su-25 serves as a self-defense missile, and on fighter aircraft such as the MiG-23, MiG-25, and Su-15 it is occasionally used as a supplementary missile. The R-60 missile had an unusually short development time, with only four years passing from the beginning of its design to the beginning of its production -- the normal development process of Soviet air-to-air missiles typically required 8 to 9 years. This rapid development was facilitated by the availability of a wealth of experimental data on the K-13 missile, and no new research was done for the R-60.
Further developments of the R-60 include the R-60M missile, the export variant R-60MK, and the UZR-60 training version.
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