Revolutionary Su-57’s Inertial Navigation Embedded RVV-MD2 Short-Range Missile ‘A Decade Ahead of the US’

The RVV-MD2 missile is the first to be equipped with an inertial guidance system (INS).

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India. He holds an M.B.A in International Business. Books: Author: Foxtrot to Arihant: The Story of Indian Navy's Submarine Arm; Co Author : Warring Navies - India and Pakistan. *views are Personal

The Russian government has developed revolutionary short-range missiles for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets, according to a report in the journal Arsenal Otechestva.

According to the article, the RVV-MD2 short-range missile is of the fifth generation and is five to ten years ahead of similar advances in the United States. According to the remarks made by officials of GosMKB “Vympel” in the journal, the missiles are currently in the deployment stage.

The advancements in seeker technology that characterise the fifth generation of short-range missiles, in particular electro-optical imaging infrared (IIR) seekers, make it possible for the missiles to “see” images rather than isolated “spots” of infrared radiation (heat).

The RVV-MD2 missile is the first to be equipped with an inertial guidance system (INS), state Andrey Ermolaev and Artem Mikhailov, the Director and Chief Specialist, respectively, of the research and testing complex of “Vympel.” They note in the publication that the new RVV-MD2 missile has been developed in Russia to replace the short-range “air-to-air” missile RVV-MD. He states that the RVV-MD2 missile can be installed in the internal bays of the Su-57 fighter.

As a reminder, the weapons on the Su-57 are stashed away in the aircraft’s internal compartments to cut down on the effective scattering area (ESR). Although they are designed to fit in the side cargo compartments of the Su-57, short-range missiles can also be carried in the main compartment of the aircraft. The short-range air-to-air guided missile RVV-MD is designed for close-range, extremely manoeuvrable air combat and is an evolution of the similar-class R-73 missile. A thrust vectoring facility can engage the target behind the launching aircraft.

The contributors note that, in contrast to the United States of America, Russia’s development and testing of the fifth-generation “air-to-air” missile have been carried out in the least amount of time conceivable.

From the information provided, one may infer that Russia’s development of fully-fledged industrial “air-to-air” missiles of the fifth generation has well outpaced the United States by some five to ten years. As mentioned above, the officials are quoted in the magazine as saying that the missile is now prepared for deployment by the military.

Viktor Murakhovsky, Chief Editor of “Arsenal Otechestva” magazine and a military specialist, told RIA Novosti that the RVV-MD2 is the first short-range missile that uses an INS. This technology is aimed at managing and stabilising the missile in autonomous flight.

Murakhovsky points out the RVV-MD2 is fitted with a radio correction line. This feature enables the aircraft to modify the target’s coordinates onboard, increasing the likelihood of successfully hitting an enemy aircraft.

The new missile has many advantages over the older version. The Chief Editor of “Arsenal Otechestva” writes the new missile has a multi-element, dual-band infrared homing head with greater jamming resistance. In addition, the new missile has a multi-element, dual-band infrared homing head with improved jamming resistance.

According to him, the new missile can engage targets from all angles, including the rear hemisphere. In other words, the RVV-MD2 is launched forward, manoeuvres in the air, and can hit an enemy aircraft behind the Su-57.

The multi-functionality of the Su-57 makes it stand out from all of the other aircraft of the fifth generation that are now in use across the world. The F-22 Raptor, for instance, was originally conceived of and developed purely as an air superiority fighter, with missions related to air superiority dominating almost 90 per cent of its mission profiles. This is likewise the situation with the Chinese J-20, an aircraft of the fifth generation. On the other hand, the other US fifth-generation aircraft, the F-35, was planned to be a multi-role fighter bomber with a primary emphasis on bombing operations. Even though each fifth-generation fighter aircraft possesses a certain degree of multi-functionality, the division of these capabilities among the various types of missions is not as even with the Su-57. The Su-57 can perform about equal amounts of air superiority and bombing missions, making it a versatile aircraft.

The SU-57 uses the K-77M missile for long-range targets, an updated variant of the R-77 missile now deployed on Russian fourth-generation fighters. The Russian media says the K-77M has a greatly expanded range of up to 200 kilometres and incorporates clipped wings to enable internal carriage in the fighter’s bays. Within the seeker’s head is an Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA), used by its homing mechanism. The K-77M is generally regarded as the primary armament of the Su-57.


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