Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on February 25 that it had completed the development of a ground-based air-defense version of the I-Derby ER air-to-air missile.
Rafael concluded a series of tests on the new missile earlier this week. A ground launch to test the missile’s command and control, navigation, and flight trajectory capabilities we preformed. Footage of the test were released by Rafael.
“This week, we completed a series of tests in the development of the I-Derby missile in its latest version [ER] which allows for Beyond Visual Range [BVR] launches over 100 km,” Pini Yungman, Rafael’s head of air and missile defense systems division, said. “This is a key milestone in the development of a missile with some of the most advanced capabilities, giving it significant interception advantages in air-to-air battles, as well as ground-to-air air defense applications.”
The I-Derby ER, a member of the Python air-to-air missile family, is propelled by a dual-pulse rocket motor. The missile is equipped with an onboard active radar seeker.
The ground-launched version of the missile will be used in the SPYDER air-defense system. The system can also fire a ground-based version of the infrared Python-5 air-to-air missile.
The light weight of the I-Derby ER allows it to be adapted on many fighter jets, including the F-16, F-15, F-18, HAL Tejas, Typhoon and many others.
In May 2019, it was reported that India was planning to arm its Russian Su-30MKI fighters with I-Derby ER missiles. A year earlier, the Indian Air Force selected the Israeli missile to arm HAL Tejas fighter jets.
It is unclear yet if the I-Derby ER is set to enter service with the Israeli Air Force, which didn’t buy some of the missile’s older variants due to budget cuts.
- Israel In Talks On Defense, Security Alliance With Saudi Arabia, UAE & Bahrain – Report
- UAE, Israel To Establish Spy Base On Yemen’s Socotra Island. Again?