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R-37M / Izdeliye 610 / RVV-BD

A new long-range AAM program exists in Russia, though with too many different names. Part of the problme is that while the nomenclature RVV-BD (Raketa Vozduh-Vozduh Bolyshoy Dalnosty, or Long-Range Air-to-Air Missile) is a generic mission category rather than a specific missile system, too often jounalistic treatments of the topic reference "the" RVV-BD rather "a" RVV-BD. The other part of tahe problems is that the Russian Air Force held a closed competition “Creation of a long-range air-to-air missile” which included that OKB Novator KS-172 and the K-37M (RVV-BD) production of "Vympel", in which the Vympel product was selected. The R-37M is a 200 km+ weapon associated with the Su-35S (and export Su-35BM) program. It is not only intended to bring down fighter jets from beyond-visual range but also early warning aircraft and cruise missile carrying jets operating from a stand-off distance. The missile will compete with the Raytheon-made AIM-120C (160 plus km range), the AIM-260 JATM (200 km plus range) being developed by Lockheed Martin and MBDA’s Meteor (160 km range with 60 km ‘no-escape-zone’) that is among the weapons for the Rafale, Gripen and F-35 jets.

Test firing of the Russian R-37M hypersonic air-to-air missile from the Su-35 fighter jets were planned for end-2020 while flight tests to confirm compatibility with the Su-35 had already commenced. Following tests on the Su-35, the R-37M will then be tested on the Su-57 for launch from the internal- weapons bay of the fifth-generation stealth fighter.

Versions of this missile appeared sporadically in public since the 1990s and in recent years full-sized mock-ups were shown carried by Su-35 aircraft. Then the R-37M RVV-BD air-to-air missile was displayed mounted on Su-35 jet at MAKS 2019.

The RVV-BD air-to-air long-range missile will engage aerial targets (fighters, strikers, bombers, military transport aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles) day and night, at all aspect angles, in ECM environment, against earth or water surfaces, including multi-channel firing on “fire-and-forget” principle. The missile is designed according to the normal aerodynamic scheme with a small wing of elongation (see the scheme). Stabilizers are in a folded position before launch.

The legacy missile K-37 (product 610) was equipped with a radar homing head GSN 9B-1388 / MFBU-610/. 9B-1388 was developed by Research Institute "Agat" and serially produced by Ryazan radio plant. The K37M missile (RVV-BD, product 610M) is equipped with a new advanced active radar SLN 9B-1103M-350 developed by JSC Research Institute "Agat". The guidance system is inertial with data link update and active radar homing at final path leg. Propulsion – a double mode SPR featuring missile internal start following separation from launch aircraft. Fuse – radar active proximity and impact target sensors. Warhead – HE blast fragmentation. The missile is designed to arm export aircraft versions of MiG and Su type. May be adapted to aircraft of non-Russian makes. The missile is stored, energized in carriage flight, fired or jettisoned from launch aircraft by ???-410-1 or ???-620 eject launcher.

The R-37M is intended to be the main long-range air-to-air weapon for current and future Su and MiG type Russian fighter jets well into the next decade. It is intended to replace the R-77 missiles whose maximum range is around 100 km at supersonic speeds (2-3 times the speed of sound) compared to the R-37M’s 200 km at hypersonic speeds (six times the speed of sound).

The R-37M (RVV-BD)’s hypersonic speed allows it to overcome the distance to the target even at maximum range in two to three minutes. The inertial navigation system, built on high-precision laser gyroscopes, guides it for most of the flight path to the target. If the target suddenly changes course, the missile trajectory can be corrected from the launching fighter via a radio link. The homing radar is activated in close proximity to the target causing its warhead to explode and to avoid detection until too late.

Though the missile is claimed to have a 200 km range, the ideal targeting distance (also known as no-escape-zone) depends upon the type of enemy aircraft; for fighter jets it is 40–70 km, for stealth aircraft or cruise missiles, this distance would be less, for large bombers or early warning aircraft, the effective firing distance could be greater than 70 km-100km. The missile is able to take advantage of its hypersonic speed at relatively shorter targeting distance and hit enemy aircraft equipped with the most sophisticated missile detection systems.

Design and manufacture “State Machine Building Design Bureau “Vympel” by name I.I.Toropov”
Launch range: max, kmup to 200 at front hemisphere, at certain target types
Mass at launch, kg510 or less
Warhead mass, kg60
Length, m4,06
Diameter, m0,38
Wing span, m0,72
Fin span, m1,02
guidance systeminertial with data link update and active radar homing at final path leg
Propulsion double mode SPR featuring missile internal start following separation from launch aircraft
Fuseradar active proximity and impact target sensors
WarheadHE blast fragmentation
  • RVV-BD-UD is a training and operational missile for ground training of technical personnel in rules of preparing missiles for use, storage, transportation and operation;
  • RVD-BD-UL is a training and flight missile for training flight personnel in operations involving the combat use of missiles without actual launches;
  • RVV-BD-UL - a training and cutting missile to study the flight and technical composition of the missile system;
  • RVV-BD-GM - a dimensional model of the rocket to assess the TTH of the aircraft carrier with missiles on a suspension.

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    Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:23:42 ZULU