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TITLE:
AA-11 'ARCHER' (R-73)

TYPE:
Medium range IR guided air-to-air missile.
 
DEVELOPMENT:
AA-11 'Archer' is the NATO designator and code name
given to this fourth generation short range IR guided
air-to-air missile. This missile has the Russian
designation R-73 and there are two versions known as
R-73M1 and R-73M2. The development of 'Archer' probably
started in the late 1970s, and it is believed that the
missile entered service around 1987. The missile
appears to have been developed by the same design
bureau that developed the AA-8 'Aphid', for there are
some similar features between the two missiles.
However, 'Archer' has most probably been designed for
use by fighter aircraft against agile opponent
fighters, for the design emphasises manoeuvrability.


DESCRIPTION:
AA-11 'Archer' has at the nose four small swept
rectangular moving control fins or sensors, followed by
four fixed rectangular fins, and then four clipped-tip
triangular moving fins. These three sets of fins are
all in line. The front row of 'fins' has small
counterweights, and these may well be angle of
incidence sensors for the control system. The missile
has four rectangular wings at the rear, with moving
control surfaces at their trailing edges. In addition,
there are four thrust vector control vanes in the motor
efflux.

 SPECIFICATIONS:
R-73M1
Length: 2.9 m
Body diameter: 170 mm
Wingspan: 0.51 m
Launch weight: 105 kg
Warhead: HE 7.4 kg fragmentation
Fuze: Active radar
Guidance: Inertial and IR
Propulsion: Solid propellant
Range: 20 km

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