R-27 (air-to-air missile)

The Vympel R-27 (NATO reporting name AA-10 Alamo) is a family of air-to-air missile developed by the Soviet Union. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force, air forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States and air forces of many other countries as standard medium range air-to-air missile even though they have the more advanced R-77.

R-27
AA-10 Alamo
Mig 29 firing AA-10.JPG
German Air Force MiG-29 firing an R-27
TypeMedium-range, air-to-air BVR missile; anti-radiation missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1983–present
WarsIran–Iraq War
Eritrean–Ethiopian War
War in Donbas
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Production history
ManufacturerVympel (Russia)
Artem (Ukraine)[1]
Unit costN/A
Specifications
Mass253 kg (558 lb)
Length4.08 m (13.4 ft)
Diameter230 mm (9.1 in)
Warheadblast/fragmentation, or continuous rod
Warhead weight39 kg (86 lb)
Detonation
mechanism
radar-proximity and impact fuzes

EngineHigh performance, w. directed-rocket motor
Solid-fuel rocket motor
Wingspan772 mm (30.4 in)
Operational
range
R-27T: up to 40 km
R-27T1: up to 80 km[2]
R-27ET: up to 120 km
R-27ET1: up to 80 km[3]
R-27R: up to 73 km
R-27R1: up to 75 km[4]
R-27ER: up to 130 km
R-27ER1: up to 100 km[5]
R-27P: up to 80 km
R-27EP: up to 130 km
R-27EA: up to 130 km
R-27EM: up to 170 km[6][7]
Flight altitudeN/A
Maximum speed Mach 4.5[citation needed]
Guidance
system
semi-active radar homing (A/C), active-radar-homing (R-27EA), infrared homing (B/D), passive radar (E/F)
Launch
platform
Su-27, Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35, Su-37, F-14 (done by Iran), MiG-23, MiG-29, Yak-141, Su-57, local conversion as a surface-to-air missile in Yemen[8]
R-27 T
R-73Ae, R-27R1(AeR1), R-27T1(AeT1), and Kh-59MAe at MACS, Zhukovski, 1999.

The R-27 is manufactured in infrared-homing (R-27T, R-27ET),[9] semi-active-radar-homing (R-27R, R-27ER),[10] and active-radar-homing (R-27EA)[11] versions. R-27 family missiles are produced by both Russian and Ukrainian manufacturers. The R-27 missile is carried by the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 family fighters, and some of the later-model MiG-23MLD fighters have also been adapted to carry it. The R-27 missile is also license-produced in China,[citation needed] though the production license was bought from Ukraine instead of Russia.

VariantsEdit

 
R-27T (Second from bottom) and R-27R (First from bottom)
 
9B-1101K, inertial semi-active homing head for R-27R missiles.
  • R-27R: AA-10 Alamo-A, semi-active radar homing. Missile can be used at 20 to 25,000 meters altitude (launch platform or target). Effective kill range for a target at same altitude: 2 to 42.5 km head-on, 0.7 to 7.5 km tail-on. Maximum range: 73 km. Maximum allowed vertical separation between target and launch platform: +/− 10 km.[12]
  • R-27R1: Export model of the R-27R. The missile has a maximum range of 75 kilometres (47 mi) with 39 kg warhead.[4]
  • R-27ER: AA-10 Alamo-C, the semi-active-radar homing extended-range version. Missile can be used at 20 to 27,000 meters altitude. Effective kill range for a target at same altitude: 2 to 65.5 km head-on, 0.7 to 16.5 km tail-on. Missile cannot be fired at altitude less than 3 km against a target with background earth, if launch range is less than 6 kilometers. Maximum range: 117 km. Maximum allowed vertical separation: 12 km.[12]
  • R-27ER1: Export model of the R-27ER. The missile has a maximum range of 100 kilometres (62 mi) with 39 kg warhead.[5]
  • R-27T: AA-10 Alamo-B, infrared homing, passive homing using the Avtomatika 9B-1032 (PRGS-27) IR seeker head. Missile can be used at 20 to 25,000 meters altitude. Effective kill range for a target at same altitude: 2 to 33 km head-on, 0 to 5.5 km tail-on. Maximum range: 63 km. Maximum allowed vertical separation: +/−10 km.[12]
  • R-27T1: Export model of the R-27T. The missile has a maximum range of 80 kilometres (50 mi) with 39 kg warhead.[2]
  • R-27ET: AA-10 Alamo-D, the infrared-homing extended-range version, Weight 348 kg. Missile can be used at 20 to 27,000 meters altitude. Effective kill range: 2 to 52.5 km head-on, 0.7 to 12.5 tail-on. Maximum range: 104 km. Maximum allowed vertical separation: 12 km.[12]
  • R-27ET1: Export model of the R-27ET. The missile has a maximum range of 80 kilometres (50 mi) with 39 kg warhead.[3]

R-27R and ER variants can be used in any meteorological conditions. Launch can made at less than 5 g overload and less 50 deg/s roll rate.[12] It is allowed to redesignate targets during flight, or sharing target illumination with other aircraft.

R-27T and ET variants can be used out of cloudiness, at least 15 degrees away from the bearing of sun, and 4 degrees away from the bearing of moon and ground-based heat-contrasting conditions. In cases of maximum head-on range launches where lock-command cannot be utilised, missile can not be fired. Seeker must acquire target before launch.[13] On combat operations section of the Su-27 manual, this mode of usage is especially recommended for head-on usage for passive attacks at targets with 0 degrees approach angle (i.e. another fighter moving to intercept), leaving target unalerted to incoming missile.[14] Launch can be made at 0 to 7 g, but limited to 6 g if roll induced slip is more than 2× diameter of the ball.[12]

Other Variants:

  • R-27P AA-10 Alamo-E, passive radar homing with a range of up to 72 km.[citation needed]
  • R-27EP AA-10 Alamo-F, a longer range passive anti-radiation missile with a range of up to 70 nm (110 km) [6]
  • R-27EA, active radar homing with 9B-1103K active seeker, range of >130 km.[7]
  • R-27EM, active radar homing with 9B-1103K active seeker, range of >170 km.

Operational serviceEdit

Ethiopia and EritreaEdit

In the 1999 Eritrean-Ethiopian War, Eritrean MiG-29s fought Ethiopian Su-27s both piloted by Russian mercenaries.[15] Only one R-27 fired by an Ethiopian Su-27 at an Eritrean MiG-29 proximity-fuzed near enough the MiG that the damaged aircraft eventually crashed on landing.

UkraineEdit

During the War in Donbas, the Ukrainian Air Force claimed that one of its Su-25 was shot down by a Russian Air Force MiG-29 using a R-27T on 16 July 2014.[16] Russian officials denied any involvement.[17]

YemenEdit

During the Yemeni Civil War (2015–present) Houthis have used R-27T missiles modified to serve as surface to air missiles. A video released on January 7, 2018 also shows a modified R-27T hitting a Saudi led coalition fighter on a Forward looking infrared camera. Houthi sources claim to have downed a F-15.[18][19] Rebels later released footage showing an aircraft wreck, however serial numbers on the wreckage suggested that the downed aircraft was a Panavia Tornado, also operated by Saudi forces.[20] On January 8, the Saudi Press Agency admitted the loss of an aircraft over Yemen, though it did not clarify whether it was a Tornado or an F-15, blaming the crash to 'a technical issue' and reporting that the pilots ejected and recovered by friendly forces.[21]

On 21 March 2018, Houthi rebels released a video where they hit and possibly shot down a Saudi F-15 in Saada province.[22] In the video a R-27T air to air missile adapted for surface to air use was launched, appearing to have successfully hit a jet. As in the video of the previous similar hit recorded on 8 January, the target, while clearly hit, did not appear to be downed. Saudi forces confirmed the hit, while saying the jet safely landed at a Saudi base.[23][24] Saudi official sources confirmed the incident reporting that it happened at 3:48 pm local time after a surface-to-air defense missile was launched at the fighter jet from inside Saada airport.[25][8]

OperatorsEdit

 
Map with R-27 operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operatorsEdit

Former operatorsEdit

See alsoEdit

Similar weaponsEdit

ReferencesEdit

Citations
  1. ^ "ARTEM". ARTEM. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b "R-27T1". Rosoboronexport. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "R-27ET1". Rosoboronexport. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b "R-27R1". Rosoboronexport. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b "R-27ER1". Rosoboronexport. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b "The Russian Philosophy of Beyond Visual Range Air Combat". ausairpower.net. 2012. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b Dr C Kopp. "The Russian Philosophy of Beyond Visual Range Air Combat". Archived from the original on 30 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia says F-15 survived SAM hit over Yemen - Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC". eng.ktrv.ru. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC". eng.ktrv.ru. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC". eng.ktrv.ru. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Su-27 Flight Manual booklet-1. 2001. p. 129.
  13. ^ Su-27 Flight Manual booklet-1. 2001. p. 151.
  14. ^ Su-27 Flight Manual booklet-1. 2001. p. 150.
  15. ^ Smith, Charles. "Russian Mercenaries Flying For Ethiopia." Archived 27 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine WorldNetDaily, 18 July 2000. Retrieved: 24 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Russian military plane shot down Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft in Ukraine". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Russia Rejects 'Absurd' Accusation Over Downed Ukrainian Jet". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 17 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Yemen rebels release F-15 'shoot down' footage - Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018.
  20. ^ "ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 203972". Aviation Safety Network. 8 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Saudi Military F - 15 fighter jet shot down in Yemen: Report". timesofislamabad.com. 22 March 2018. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018.
  23. ^ "محمد بن خالد on Twitter". twitter.com. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia says F-15 survived SAM hit over Yemen - Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Coalition fighter jet unsuccessfully targeted by defense missile over Saada". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Trade Registers". armstrade.sipri.org.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h International Institute for Strategic Studies (2020). "Chapter Six: Asia". The Military Balance. 120 (1): 255. doi:10.1080/04597222.2020.1707967.
  28. ^ "India buys thousand Russian air-launched missiles". airrecognition.com.
  29. ^ "India, Russia sign Rs 1,500 crore deal for air-to-air missiles for Su-30 fighters". www.aninews.in.
  30. ^ "India signs USD700 million deal with Russia for 1,000 additional air-to-air missiles | Jane's 360". www.janes.com.
Bibliography
  • Gordon, Yefim (2004). Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-188-1.

External linksEdit