Denel’s A-Darter imaging infrared dogfight missile program is picking up pace with the first in a series of test shots aimed at examining the weapon’s flight characteristics.
South Africa and Brazil are now jointly funding the A-Darter program, which has until recently struggled for adequate financial support. The project, also known as the V3E, goes back to the mid-1990s.
The first of the latest series of test firings was carried out February 13 using Denel OTB test range. The shot was intended to examine missile maneuverability and the airframe behavior under high G-loads. Tests of its imaging infrared seeker are also being carried out in parallel to the airframe firings.
The missile is due to be integrated on the South African air force’s Gripen and the Brazilian air force’s F5M, and likely the platform picked to meet the latter’s FX fighter procurement.
Images credit Denel