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

The math doesn’t work out. 80 / 100km launch is for high altitude but not necessarily high launch speeds. If the aircraft were to launch the missile from 2.5+ mach to reach those distances, the missile would have to have a drag value 2-3x higher than anything else within it’s caliber. Then, we must also consider the grid fins which would have IMPROVED aerodynamic drag in comparison to conventional tailfins at those speeds.

The R-77’s 100km limitation I suspect has more to do with battery life than anything else. Sources likely claim 80km as a revised distance for nominal (average) launch and intercept speeds at lower altitudes.

The MiG-35 is not a high-altitude interceptor.This is a multi-purpose maneuverable fighter

I meant MIG 31, Ty for correcting me.


1 Like

I hope that clarifies something. During the discussion, I noticed the content about the battle between Su-27SK/J-11A and JAS-39 in the China-Thailand joint exercise.
First of all, that PPT cannot be used as evidence. It is based solely on public data and ignores many facts, such as NATO and China/Russia having different ways of calculating fighter RCS. As far as I know, that PPT came from a public lecture at a university in Beijing; after that, there was a chart of confrontation results showing that J-11A/Su-27 almost won most of the close air battles. This does not explain the problem, because it is based on a simple “effective attack” determination and does not represent the actual combat performance of these aircraft, let alone missiles.
Since the performance of R-77/PL-12s has not been fully decrypted, we can only speculate on their actual performance based on limited content. All things considered, I believe their overall capabilities should be equivalent to the AIM-120Bs and inferior to the AIM-120C, whether it is the AIM-120C5 or C7.

this is a r-77 topic, but i would like to comment, to current ARH missile mechanic MUST need to change, the tws have some boucing bugs, missiles that are not tracking and so long so long, lets support some propose changes until come fox 3 missiles without regards

I agree and to add on, RWR needs to be less sensitive. Friendly plane’s missiles trigger the RWR, enemies lock your friendly and fire at them but you receive the lock and fire ping, even though your friendly is not that close to you.

So all three of those primary sources say the maximum launch range is up to 80 km.

Presumably that means the best it will manage is 80 km under ideal conditions? It certainly makes me doubt the claims that it was capable of 100 km launch ranges.


This is a limitation of battery life

Maybe so, but it still makes claims of 100 km range doubtful.

Also if the range is up to 80 km wouldn’t that mean it has to be for a high altitude supersonic launch against a supersonic target? Because it is essentially saying that 80 km is the highest possible firing range.


The maximum range is limited by many parameters
Battery life, ensuring minimum G, ensuring minimum speed to hit a target, etc.The rocket can fly at least 200km away.But due to the boundary conditions it is limited to 80km

Yes, but if the missile has a battery limited range of up to 80 km that is presumably for a high altitude, high speed, launch.

If the missile is fired at a lower speed, or lower altitude it’s average speed will be lower meaning it covers less distance during its battery life.

Also is the battery life of R-77 80 seconds like AMRAAM?


This applies to absolutely all missiles.Aircraft-based range is always indicated from a high altitude and speed

I can’t say for sure

Yes, so to me the quoted 80 km range seems likely to be high altitude Mach 2 launch against co-speed / altitude target (seeing as it is “up to 80 km” the 80 km figure must be for best case conditions, with less range under other conditions).

In that case AMRAAM likely has better range than R-77, as it is said to have 92 km range when fired at Mach 1.6 / 35,000 ft against a co-speed / altitude, target.


The speed of the target is not stated, only the speed of the carrier.usually these are aerial targets in the USSR, the LA-17 was used with subsonic speed

Either way it seems unlikely that the R-77 is hitting an 80 km target from a sub sonic launch, like I’ve seen people saying.

The target is subsonic, not a carrier

How is a target subsonic at such high altitudes, why would they even test that tbh.

1 Like

12-14km may well be a subsonic flight

We’ve already discussed this, is this some kind of bait? We know the R-77 to have 80km range under similar circumstances to the AIM-120A’s 74km figure. Likewise, both can exceed 100km with higher speed and altitude launches.

Let’s not forget that the R-77 does so WITHOUT lofting.