Latest A-Darter trials validate Brazil’s future GRIPEN armament

Brazilian personnel have claimed that – thanks to the use of thrustvectoring, rather than relying on small forward control-vanes – A-Darter will be 10 times more manoeuvrable than a fighter jet, with the ability to perform turns up to 100G.

At IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, we were informed by Denel Dynamics on details of the latest series of inflight trials, held at the South African Overberg test range and observed by the FAB.

According to staff at Denel, “these trials involved high-G and lock-on-after launch tests in which the missile exceeded expectations and design parameters.”

A-Darter was relying on advanced digital-processing and memory-tracking capabilities to reacquire the target towards the rear of the aircraft, thus confirming its ‘over-the-shoulder’ firing ability. The tests also confirmed an “exceptional performance in terms of detection, false target discrimination, ECM and guidance and control.”

Having reached a critical designreview phase, final qualification was said to be set down for November, while local production in South Africa is likely to start soon after. One of the group’s chief executives expects A-Darter to become a global ‘seller’ when it enters service within the next 18 months.

At IDEX it was also announced that the so-called MPACT pure air-compression technology by Marotta Controls of Montville NJ was selected for the infrared seeker on A-Dater. 1,500 of these units have been delivered to the USN and are flown on the F/A-18F’s AIM-9X.


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