The R-77 'ADDER' - History, Design, Performance & Discussion



First seen in 1992 at the Moscow Airshow (MAKS) 1992, the R-77 was immediately nicknamed Amraamski by Western journalists. The basic R-77 is known as the izdeliye 170, while the export variant is known as the izdeliye 190 or RVV-AE. Unlike previous missiles used by the Soviet Union, this one was primarily produced or used by modern day Russia. As such, there is limited history on the development and use of the weapon.


A closer look at the RVV-AE


Karpenko’s chart as seen in bastion magazine, 2003.

R-77 (RVV-AE)


[2] Launch Mass: 177kg
[10] Mass at end of burn: 118kg
[2] Caliber: 200mm
[2] Length: 3.6m
[?] Thrust: 22854.96 - 30473.28 (Newtons)
[10] Burn Time: 4.5 - 6s
[?] Explosive Mass: ??
[?] Proximity Range: ??
[2] Guidance: ARH+IOG+DL
[?] Guidance Duration: 120s? (video of R-77-1)
[?] Lock-on range from all-aspect: ??
[?] Maximum Overload: 40G?
[?] Maximum Speed: Mach 4.5?
[?] Maximum fin angle of attack: 40 degrees?
[2] Maximum range: Up to 80km* (possibly 100km)


We’re looking for any potential real information (primary sources, multiple credible secondary sources).
Please refrain from posting anything restricted or otherwise not permissible for public distribution.

Let’s discuss and discover what we can about this missile. It is not long until it sees its’ way into the game. It is already in the files as hidden loadouts (albeit, missing a real file or model). Gaijin has admitted that fox-3s are coming soon.



[1] Russian missile weapons 1943 - 1993 (cover) (page)
A.V. Karpenko, 1993


[3] Bastion magazine 2003 (cover) (page)

[4] AA-12 (Federation of American Scientists)

[5] The Drive Article

[6] Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review

[7] Eurasian times


[9] Russia military modernization (The International Institute for Strategic Studies)

[10] CAT UXO

[11] Comparison of the dynamics of the R-24, R-27 and AIM-7 missiles (Cover page for source)

[12] Scramble

[13] Naukatehnika

[14] Фактор социальной стабильности

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Placeholder comment

I am looking for official (primary) sources on the ordinance with more substance and context. If anyone has some please ensure they are unrestricted and available for public distribution before sharing. Thank you.

Perhaps we can flesh this thread out as well as my thread on the AIM-120A/B in the next week(s).

R-77 and AIM-120s are definitely close, this will be useful 👍


R-77/RVV-AE (export designation):

Max range (front aspect): up to 80km (<80km)
Max altitude: up to 25km (<25km)
Min altitude: 0.02km
Min range (rear aspect): 0.3km
Max target speed: 3600kph
Max vertical seperation between launch aircraft and target: ±10km

Sole exporting entity:

Manufacturer parent company:

R-77-1/RVV-SD (export designation):

Max range (front aspect): up to 110km (<110km)
Max altitude: up to 25km (<25km)
Min altitude: 0.02km
Min range (rear aspect): 0.3km
Max target load factor: up to 12G

Sole official exporting entity:

Manufacturer parent company:

The engagement enveloppe in the original post is from a book from 1993, predating the R-77/RVV-AE’s introduction into service and was likely simply an estimate of the missiles engagement envelope via estimation from the R-27ER’s known envelope. ie: a complete assumption based on suspected requirements.


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My (unfounded) opinion is that the original R-77 and R-77-1 share the same motor. The improvement in guidance technology (new seeker) as well as the possibly improvement in battery life yielded the improved 110km range. As shown in Karpenkos estimate, the 100km range abruptly ends. This is likely a guidance time limitation.

To me, the grid-fins suggests these missiles do not loft. That would likely hamper their performance as wave drag would drastically harm their final approach at max range. I don’t think the R-77-1 will loft either due to this, the change to the conventional tailfins on the new mysterious R-77M indicates a change in methodology for the Russians. Anyhow, the R-77-1’s 110km stated range indicates again (imo) that it may only be the matured R-77 that finally saw serious production. No longer limited by guidance time, it has the proper “maximum” launch range of the earlier premature R-77 that never really saw service.

We will see in time I suppose, but for now we have nothing but the information already stated and sourced. The initial izdeliye 170 (R-77) is almost always stated as 100km and the later izdeliye 190 (RVV-AE) stated as 80km.

-edit- actually, recently they found a crashed R-77-1 section and this page suggests there are more significant changes to this missile than I thought.

Stated increased length to reduce drag, as well as 33 extra pounds of weight.

Not a great opinion to have, the R-77 is 3.6m long and 175kg vs the R-77-1’s 3.71m long and 190Kg. Both have the same warhead, and its unlikely the extra 15kg of weight and 0.11m length are avionics related or due to the streamlined nose.

All evidence points to the R-77-1 having a new motor with more fuel to acheive the longer range.

As you’ve previously stated, the R-77 was already filled with battery space, making it unlikely the missile was limited by guidance time.

Your assumption also makes literally no sense at all, as your stated source (which, yet again, predates the R-77’s entry into service in 1994 by a year) states a HIGHER range than the most up to date publicly available sources (from 2015, submitted in my initial reply) which indicates the earlier chart was either a raw assumption, or a propaganda number that has since been revised.

As for the R-77-1, it entered service in 2015 following an arms embargo from Ukraine (the original manufacturing country of the R-77) due to Russias invasion of Crimea.

There is no good reason to assume both Rosobornexport and KTRV both underclaim the performance of the missile despite some questionnable past sources stating a range upwards of 100km for the baseline R-77/RVV-AE, nor is there any reason to assume they ALSO underclaim the R-77-1/RVV-SD performance.

There is also no good reason to assume the the R-77-1, with its improved motor, aerodynamic refinements, and more modern electronics, would only offers a 10% increase in range over the baseline R-77

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Do the R-77 have an Altimeter? To keep it from smashing into the ground.

They have a radar, which can act as an altimeter

Also! To counter the asumption that the RVV-AE somehow has reduced range over the R-77, both have the same dimensions and weight, and russian export missile variants have always been modified in things such as proximity fuze and avionics, not in rocket motors. They also both are claimed to have midcourse update with inertial guidance alongside terminal active radar homing, indicating range would not be a lock on issue.

There is no reason to believe the R-77 and RVV-AE have any significant flight performance differences at all.

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The assumption that izdeliye 170 and izdeliye 190 are the same weight stems from confusion of R-77 and RVV-AE I think.

Also, the fact that in Karpenko’s chart the range is capped at 100km with a vertical line suggests a guidance time issue, nothing more. The missile has more room for more batteries than the AIM-120, this also adds to the reason that the AIM-120A likely has significantly less range than than the R-77.

Anything saying the RVV-AE has similar weight and size to the original R-77 fails to also explain the change from a radar to a laser based proximity fuse and I see no public sources outside of forums and twitter stating the differences but there are plenty of photos in both clearly showing that there are changes in the R-77 vs RVV-AE. Even within different models of RVV-AE we see either laser or radar based proximity fuse window options. There are also changes made to the grid fins in later models of the RVV-AE which are later seen on RVV-SD. There just isn’t enough solid information on the missiles.

Its actually farcical how much you absolutely categorically refuse to believe that the R-77 is not a match to the AIM-120-C5 like you claim and is more likely a match to the AIM-120A, as the R-77-1 is more likely a match for the AIM-120-C5 and beyond variants.

Desperately denying the best publicly available sources on the missile because it doesnt match your view of reality while begging for someone to pull an official (likely classified) primary source that would totally 100% prove you right.

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Looks like it has


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Some takes from video:
RVV-AE completed trials in 1991 and was allowed for export. In 98 first missiles were delivered. After Vympel having established serial production of RVV-AE for export, Vympel started creation of missile for RuAF. RVV-SD was created in 2002-2006 and put into RuAF service, recently (regarding the date of the video release) was allowed for export.

RVV-AE seeker



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How is it farcical? Aside from Fantom I saw you were doing nothing but being dramatic as you were with this comment. You’ve yet to show how the AIM-120 performs in comparison anyhow.

I understand that I have out-of-the-box opinions at times, but when real evidence shows things to be true/untrue I’ve always shifted my position however uncomfortable. As we can see, my theory that they did not loft is false, models with the grid fins do in fact loft as shown. Based on what Fantom has shared, it seems I was wrong about the range of the R-77 (Izdeliye 170), and it may have reduced maximum launch range of 80km rather than 100km.

My argument that R-77 outperforms AIM-120A/B still stands, it has greater range than both (imo).
Time shall tell.

Is there a timestamp for this?

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Looks like a pretty steep lofting trajectory initially. Do we know if the initial R-77 (or RVV-AE) has had any updates (even software) to allow for lofting at all?

I’m going to have to update the OP later today with the new information on RVV-AE and RVV-SD.

Your opinion is so obviously a result of motivated reasoning. That is what makes it farcical.

Also, even if Izdeliye 170 had greater range, for which there’s no reason to believe and plenty to refute, it wouldn’t matter. It was an extremely limited-production missile and most Russian aircraft have never been seen using it. Export Izdeliye 190 is probably more common on Russian aircraft using foreign stocks.

Also, note that we can see a DLZ for R-77-1 in the video screenshots @_Fantom2451 posted, and it doesn’t bode too well, ~65km for a hot target in a high to low shot.

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