R-Darter (missile)
The R-Darter is an beyond visual range (BVR)
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

 guided by an active radar homing
Active radar homing
Active radar homing is a missile guidance method in which a guided missile contains a radar transceiver and the electronics necessary for it to find and track its target autonomously...

 seeker. It was designed and manufactured by the South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n firm Kentron, now known as Denel Dynamics.

The South African air-to-air missile program benefited from cooperation with Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

  during the 1980's and the R-Darter is very similar to the Python Derby.


The missile armed the South African Air Force
South African Air Force
The South African Air Force is the air force of South Africa, with headquarters in Pretoria. It is the world's second oldest independent air force, and its motto is Per Aspera Ad Astra...

's Cheetah C
Atlas Cheetah
The Atlas Cheetah is a fighter aircraft currently operated by the Ecuadorian Air Force. It was operated by the South African Air Force between 1986 and 2008. It was first built as a major upgrade of the Dassault Mirage III by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation of South Africa in South Africa and is...

 fighter aircraft and was withdrawn from service when those were retired in 2008.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 Gripen
JAS 39 Gripen
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force...

s which have replaced the Cheetahs.

The Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

 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.

It was reported in 2010 that the R-darter is being operated by the Pakistan Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...


See also

  • AIM-120 AMRAAM
    AIM-120 AMRAAM
    The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

    , similar type of missile (beyond visual range)
  • A-Darter
    A-Darter (missile)
    The A-Darter is a fifth generation short range infrared homing air-to-air missile, under development by South Africa's Denel Dynamics and Brazil's Mectron. It is expected to enter service with the South African Air Force, Brazilian Air Force and be offered for export...

    , Denel's short range infrared homing
    Infrared homing
    Infrared homing refers to a passive missile guidance system which uses the emission from a target of electromagnetic radiation in the infrared part of the spectrum to track and follow it. Missiles which use infrared seeking are often referred to as "heat-seekers", since infrared is just below the...

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