The MiG-31 interceptor received short-range R-74M missiles. They are suitable for destroying high-speed maneuverable aircraft, and for hitting drones and cruise missiles. The munition will increase the versatility and expand the capabilities of the heaviest, fastest interceptors in the Russian Aerospace Forces.
What are the P-74Ms for?
The R-74M air-to-air missiles are capable of fighting enemy aircraft, and can be used against cruise missiles and drones with a small reflective surface. The new missiles will be able to work on faster targets in close combat conditions. This requires speed, high maneuverability and the ability to withstand heavy overloads, and these ammunition have these qualities.
The missile provides the defeat of air targets at any time of the day, from any direction, against the background of the ground with the active opposition of the enemy.
The R-74M was originally developed with the possibility of destroying the fifth-generation F-35 and F-22 fighters. Neither an attempt to escape on the afterburner, nor intensive maneuvering will save you from the rocket. The homing head is not afraid of electronic interference and heat traps-simulators of the enemy.
There is a variant of the R-74M, created for use from the internal compartments of the fifth-generation Su-57 fighters. New ammunition can be equipped with attack aircraft, as well as combat helicopters. They are already armed with the latest Mi-28NM helicopters.
What are the features?
The design of the R-74M was created on the basis of a redesigned R-73 rocket. According to the developers, the new model has an improved dual-band infrared homing head. It sees small hot objects from a greater distance and is more difficult to deceive with traps and interference. Due to the addition of gas-dynamic rudders, the maximum possible overload and grip angles have increased dramatically. This increased the effectiveness in high-maneuver combat.In addition, the developers have improved the reliability, autonomy and versatility of the new weapon. All this will increase the effectiveness of the rocket by 25-30%.
The maximum launch range increased from 30 to 40 km. But if necessary, you can shoot it at point-blank range, with a minimum distance of three hundred meters to the object. The homing head can capture the target after launch and switch from one to another in flight.
Technicians transport the R-73 short-range air-to-air guided missile for installation on the MiG-31 multirole fighter. Photo: RIA Novosti/Vitaly Ankov
Where is it already used?
The new missile has been delivered to the troops in small quantities since 2015. The new munition was tested there on the Su-30SM multi-purpose fighters in Syria. The introduction of a serial plant for their production in Kurgan in 2018 made it possible to increase supplies.