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Kentron V4 R-Darter
Type Air-to-air missile
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service 1995-2008[1]
Used by South African Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer Denel Dynamics
Weight 118 kg (260 lb)
Length 3.62 m (11.88 ft)
Diameter 0.16 m (6.3 in)

Engine Solid-fuel rocket
>60 km (>37 mi) [2]
Active radar homing
Combat aircraft:

The R-Darter is an beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile guided by an active radar homing seeker. It was designed and manufactured by the South African firm Kentron, now known as Denel Dynamics.

The South African air-to-air missile program benefited from cooperation with Israel [3] during the 1980s and the R-Darter is very similar to the Python Derby.

Service[edit | edit source]

The missile armed the South African Air Force's Cheetah C fighter aircraft and was withdrawn from service when those were retired in 2008. The SAAF has not yet publicly announced which BVR missile will be procured to equip the 26 Saab JAS 39 Gripens which have replaced the Cheetahs.

The Brazilian Air Force is said to be evaluating the R-Darter for use with their F5 fighters since Denel will be selling the missiles used for the test at a low price, as they are nearing the end of their shelf-life.[4]

It was reported in 2010 that the R-Darter is being operated by the Pakistan Air Force.[5]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9990:ncacc-inspectorate-probing-icarus-marine-&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118
  2. http://www.saairforce.co.za/the-airforce/weapons/69/v4-r-darter
  3. http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.181/pub_detail.asp
  4. "Air Force Acquiring Additional F-5s and Evaluating R-Darter Missiles for Upgraded F-5s". Forecast International. January 2006. http://www.forecastinternational.com/archive/sa/0231.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  5. Engelbrecht, Leon (Tuesday, 12 October 2010). "NCACC inspectorate probing Icarus Marine". Defence Web (defenceweb.co.za). http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9990:ncacc-inspectorate-probing-icarus-marine-&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118. Retrieved 31 May 2011. "defenceWeb could find no record of Denel sales to Pakistan, but the International Institute for Strategic Studies notes in its 2010 Military Balance publication that the Pakistan Air Force operates the "R-Darter" a beyond visual-range air-to-air missile." 

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