The AA-12 has rectangular narrow span wings and a distinctive set of four rectangular control surfaces at the rear. similar to the configuration used on the terminal control fins of the SS-21 'Scarab' and SS-23 'Spider' ballistic missiles. These unique control surfaces feature reduced flow separation at high angles of attack, producing greater aerodynamic moment force than conventional control surfaces.
The missile's guidance is inertial with mid-course updates from the launch aircraft, followed by a terminal active radar phase from an acquisition range of about 20 kilometers.
. Work on the R-77 began in 1982, and the work was considered quite significant and secret since it represented their first fully multi-purpose missile for both tactical and strategic aircraft for fire-and-forget employment against everything from hovering helicopters to high speed, low altitude aircraft. Gennadiy Sokolovski, Vympel Design Bureau General Designer, said that the R-77 can be used also against medium and long range air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-54 PHOENIX as well as SAM's such as the PATRIOT. Latest generation fighters are to utilize the R-77 from internal carriage where the control fins and surfaces will fold flat until the missile is catapulted clear of the aircraft for motor ignition.
The Russian AAM-AE (R-77) "AMRAAMski" [Russian RVV-AE, RVV-AE] is a new air-to-air missile that had its first delivery to fighter units in late 1992 as the AAM-AE. It continues in series production. It is designed to be used against aircraft, cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and air-to-air missiles.
The AAM-AE (R-77) incorporates an active radar seeker and is described as an all-aspect, all-weather, fire-and-forget weapon that can be employed in a countermeasure environment. The missile's 20 centimeter diameter does give it a large radar cross section which is further enhanced with its four tail-mounted grid-fins.
One of the R-77's most interesting features is its grid-type control surfaces. Sokolovski said that the development for this control concept took three years of theoretical work and testing. Drag and radar "signature" are more pronounced than might be expected from conventional surfaces, but the supersonic performance outweighs the drawbacks. The density of the grid, which allows for numerous aero-surfaces to fly in the relative wind, the total surface area is increased providing better maneuverability for less weight and size.
During the initial flight phase after launch, the R-77 is controlled by an inertial auto pilot with occasional data link updates from the launch aircraft's radar on changes in spatial position or G of the target. During the terminal phase, the missile shifts to an active-radar mode. Over short distances, the missile will launch in an active mode. The host radar system maintains computed target information in case the target breaks the missile's lock-on. If the seeker is jammed, it switches automatically to a passive mode and homes on the source of jamming (HOJ).
In another version of the R-77, a terminal IR homing seeker is offered. It is not the already The use of IR tracking in the terminal mode might be logical because at the extended ranges the data link between the launch fighter and the missile might be interrupted, or the host radar may not detect jamming. The R-77 has a laser fuze and an exploding rod (bar) warhead that is capable of destroying the variable sized targets from other missiles and PGM's to bombers (AW&ST, 24Aug92, pg 62 and JDW, 27Nov93, pg26-27).
R-77 mod (extended range AA-12) "HDD-FT-KL / HDD-FT-KL"
R-77 mod integral rocket-ramjet motor with four long intakes in-line
with tail control surfaces and could attaion ranges of 100-150 km
Surface-to-Air (SAM) variant under consideration
The PD/PD is for povyshenoy dalnosti = extended range
The R-77M, would be directed against intermediate ranged targets. Older model aircraft with their older radars are supposed to be capable of incorporating the R-77 missiles. The R-77M is considered to be a combined rocket/ramjet propulsion holding the official designation of RVV-AE-PD. The PD is for povyshenoy dalnosti, which is for "improved range" which is considered around 160km. Even a more advanced variant, with a larger booster for perhaps a surface-to-air role, designated the R-77E, which could be exported, is being considered.
The RVV-AE medium-range air-to-air guided missile is intended for round-the-clock all-aspect engagement of various air targets such as fighters, bombers, attack aircraft, helicopters, military cargo aircraft and cruise missiles, against ground and water surface background, in harsh ECM environment. The missile features multi-target and “fire-and-forget” capabilities.
The missile can be carried on MiG/Su-type aircraft.
The missile guidance is combined: inertial with radiocorrection datalink at the initial leg and active radar homing at the terminal leg. It is powered with a fixed-thrust solid-fuel rocket engine.
The warhead is of a multi-shaped charge rod type. It is fitted with a laser proximity target sensor.
Folding lattice (electrically driven) fins is a missile’s distinctive design feature, which has no matches in the world.
RVV-SD is a highly effective medium-range missile used for engaging air targets (fighters, attack aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, etc.) on a round-the-clock basis, from all aspects, under severe countermeasures, against ground or water surface, in a multi-channel firing mode in accordance with “fire-and-forget” principle.
It is intended for arming aircraft of MiG and Su type.
The missile features inertial guidance system with radio correction and an active radar seeker, a fixed-thrust solid fuel motor and a laser proximity fuse. The warhead is a rod type, multiple hollow charge one.
Aircraft catapult launcher AKU-170E is used for suspension. The missile may be adapted for deployment on foreign carriers.
RVV-MD, a small-range air-to-air guided missile for a close-in dogfight, can engage helicopters and aircraft of different types on a round-the-clock basis, from all aspects, against ground surface, under severe countermeasures. The missile has high maneuverability, (optical) jamming immunity. It is intended for arming fighters, attack aircraft and combat helicopters.
The missile features all-aspect passive IR guidance (two-color IR seeker) with combined aerogasdynamic control, a fixed-thrust solid fuel motor, a laser proximity fuse (for RVV-MDL) or a radar proximity fuse (for RVV-MD). The warhead is of rod type.
Aircraft rail launcher P-72-1D (P-72-1BD2) is responsible for missile suspension, energization during captive flight, combat launch and emergency jettisoning.
The missile may be adapted for foreign-made carriers.