R-4 (missile)

Last updated
R-4
AA-5 Ash
Tupolev Tu-128 at Central Air Force Museum Monino pic2.JPG
R-4 missile under wing of Tupolev Tu-128
TypeHeavy air-to-air missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service1963-1990
Used by Soviet Air Forces
Production history
Manufacturer Bisnovat
Specifications (R-4R)
Weight492.5 kg (1,086 lb)
Length5.44 m (17 ft 10 in)
Diameter310 mm (12 in)
Warhead High explosive
Warhead weight53 kg (117 lb)

EngineSolid-fuel rocket
Operational
range
2 to 25 kilometres (1.2 to 15.5  mi)
Speed Mach 1.6
Guidance
system
Semi-active radar homing (R-4R)
Infrared homing (R-4T)
Launch
platform
Tu-128

The Bisnovat (later Molniya ) R-4 (NATO reporting name AA-5 'Ash') was an early Soviet long-range air-to-air missile. It was used primarily as the sole weapon of the Tupolev Tu-128 interceptor, matching its RP-S Smerch ('Tornado') radar.

NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia, China, and historically, the Eastern Bloc. They provide unambiguous and easily understood English words in a uniform manner in place of the original designations, which either may have been unknown to the Western world at the time or easily confused codes. For example, the Russian bomber jet Tupolev Tu-160 is simply called "Blackjack".

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Air-to-air missile Missile fired from the air at airborne targets

An air-to-air missile (AAM) 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 fueled but sometimes liquid fueled. Ramjet engines, as used on the Meteor (missile) are emerging as propulsion that will enable future medium-range missiles to maintain higher average speed across their engagement envelope.

Contents

History

Development of the R-4 began in 1959, initially designated as K-80 or R-80, entering operational service around 1963, together with Tu-128. Like many Soviet weapons, it was made in both semi-active radar homing (R-4R) and infrared-homing (R-4T) versions. Standard Soviet doctrine was to fire the weapons in SARH/IR pairs to increase the odds of a hit.[ citation needed ] Target altitude was from 8 to 21 km. Importantly for the slow-climbing Tu-128, the missile could be fired even from 8 km below the target.

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1959:

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1963:

Semi-active radar homing (SARH) is a common type of missile guidance system, perhaps the most common type for longer-range air-to-air and surface-to-air missile systems. The name refers to the fact that the missile itself is only a passive detector of a radar signal – provided by an external (“offboard”) source — as it reflects off the target(in contrast to active radar homing, which uses an active radar: transceiver). Semi-active missile systems use bistatic continuous-wave radar.

In 1973 the weapon was modernized to R-4MR (SARH) / MT (IR) standard, with lower minimal target altitude (0.5–1 km), improved seeker performance, and compatibility with the upgraded RP-SM Smerch-M radar.

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1973:

The R-4 survived in limited service until 1990, retiring along with the last Tu-128 aircraft.

Operators

Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union

Specifications (R-4T / R-4R)

Mach number Ratio of speed of object moving through fluid and local speed of sound

In fluid dynamics, the Mach number is a dimensionless quantity representing the ratio of flow velocity past a boundary to the local speed of sound.

Infrared electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light

Infrared radiation (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, and is therefore generally invisible to the human eye, although IR at wavelengths up to 1050 nanometers (nm)s from specially pulsed lasers can be seen by humans under certain conditions. IR wavelengths extend from the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum at 700 nanometers, to 1 millimeter (300 GHz). Most of the thermal radiation emitted by objects near room temperature is infrared. As with all EMR, IR carries radiant energy and behaves both like a wave and like its quantum particle, the photon.

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References

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The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.