Vympel R-27 'ALAMO' - History, Design, Performance & Discussion

See old threads for history section, this thread will focus more on how the missile is implemented in-game instead of the real life performances.
Old thread link
Archived link

The Vympel R-27 was the first missile designed with modularity in mind for the Soviet Union. It’s performance through history was subpar, but when it did work it outshined any other air-launched SARH missile in history.

Description
The missile stands apart from other SARH missiles by incorporating inertial guidance and datalink. This allows the missile to be fired at targets beyond the range at which the on-board receiver can pick up the radar returns. This also allows for the aircraft to drop lock, and then later re-lock an enemy aircraft to continue guidance.

The R-27 series is quite modular, allowing for thermal and radar homing heads as well as a choice between two motors. The first is the standard motor, which has poor acceleration and average range in comparison to other SARH missiles at the battle rating. (AIM-7F and Super 530D outperform it). However, the extended range booster found on the R-27ER and R-27ET is quite a performance enhancer. The booster has some of the highest acceleration for a missile in the game and also some of the most kinematic range of any missiles in the game aside from the Phoenix. The time to target is incredibly fast, and makes this SARH lethal enough to be used against early active radar homing types.

Technical specs
R-27R

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image

Dimensions

Length: 4m

Diameter: 0.23m

Mass: 253kg

Empty Mass: 183kg

Guidance / Receiver
Receiver: 9B-1101K
Gimbal: 55 degrees
Range: 25km
Guidance time: 60s
Features: Inertial guidance, datalink with mid-course radio correction

Warhead
Explosive mass: 24kg
Proximity fuse: Yes, 10m

Propulsion
Booster type: R-300 (Single stage)
Burn time: 6s
Propellent: 70kg
Thrust: (booster only)
26,000N (5,845 lbf)
Maneuvering G limit: 30G
Structural limit: ?
Launch G limit: ?

Engagement ranges:
Maximum launch ranges
50-60km (55km in-game) frontal aspect (TRK PD HDN recommended) . . . 16-18km rear aspect (TRK PD)
Minimum launch ranges
1.2km frontal aspect . . . 0.5km rear aspect (TRK PD only)

R-27ER

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Dimensions

Length: 4.7m

Diameter: 0.26m

Mass: 350kg

Empty Mass: 208kg

Guidance / Receiver
Receiver: 9B-1101K
Gimbal: 55 degrees
Range: 25km
Guidance time: 60s
Features: Inertial guidance, datalink with mid-course radio correction

Warhead
Explosive mass: 24kg
Proximity fuse: Yes, 10m

Propulsion
Booster type: R-300E (two stage, boost + sustainer)
Burn time: 2s
Propellent: 64kg booster, 78kg sustainer
Thrust: (booster)
Booster: 73,600N (16,546lbf) for 2 seconds
Sustainer: 25,575N (5,749lbf) for 7 seconds
Maneuvering G limit: 30G
Structural limit: ?
Launch G limit: ?

Engagement ranges:
Maximum launch ranges
(100km in-game stats)
Minimum launch ranges
(30m in-game stats)

R-27T

Spoiler

image

Dimensions

Length: 4m

Diameter: 0.23m

Mass: 245kg

Empty Mass: 177.5kg

Guidance / Receiver
Receiver: TGS " Geofizika 36T"
Gimbal: +/- 45 degrees
Track Rate: 30 deg/s
Range: 16-18km detection
Guidance time: 60s
Features: None, typical all aspect IR AAM.

Warhead
Explosive mass: 24kg
Proximity fuse: Yes, 10m

Propulsion
Booster type: R-300 (Single stage)
Burn time: 6s
Propellent: 67.5kg
Thrust: (booster only)
26,000N (5,845 lbf)
Maneuvering G limit: 30G
Structural limit: ?
Launch G limit: ?

Engagement ranges:
Maximum launch ranges
(50km in-game stats)
Minimum launch ranges
(20m in-game stats)

R-27ET

Spoiler

Dimensions

Length: 4m

Diameter: 0.23m

Mass: 343kg

Empty Mass: 201kg

Guidance / Receiver
Receiver: TGS “A3-10” or (“MK-80M”) -note, early models used the same seeker as R-27T.
Gimbal: +/- 50 degrees
Track Rate: 60 deg/s
Range: Up to 30km frontal, 100km rear aspect (8km frontal against non-afterburning and slow target for MK-80M)
Guidance time: 60s
Features: Two phase pulse modulation, two-spectral multi element photodetector , reprogrammable noise immunity algorithms. (IRCCM)

Warhead
Explosive mass: 24kg
Proximity fuse: Yes, 10m

Propulsion
Booster type: R-300E (two stage, boost + sustainer)
Burn time: 2s
Propellent: 64kg booster, 78kg sustainer
Thrust: (booster)
Booster: 73,600N (16,546lbf) for 2 seconds
Sustainer: 25,575N (5,749lbf) for 7 seconds
Maneuvering G limit: 30G
Structural limit: ?
Launch G limit: ?

Engagement ranges:
Maximum launch ranges
(67.5km in-game stats)
Minimum launch ranges
(20m in-game stats)

image

Sources:
Manuals

Spoiler

[1] MiG-29 weapons employment manual
[2] “According to the range and duration of the MiG-29 aircraft with RD-33 engines” manual
[3] Yugoslavian MiG-29 manual (1990)

Online links

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[11] http://roe.ru/eng/catalog/aerospace-systems/air-to-air-missile/r-27r1/
[12] http://roe.ru/eng/catalog/aerospace-systems/air-to-air-missile/r-27t1/
[13] The Russian Philosophy of Beyond Visual Range Air Combat
[14] ГосМКБ «Вымпел» » Управляемые авиационные ракеты «воздух-воздух»
[15] Ruská raketa typu vzduch-vzduch R-27 (AA-10 Alamo)
[16] Уголок неба ¦ Р-27
[17] MilitaryRussia.Ru — отечественная военная техника (после 1945г.) | Статьи
[18] cmano-db.com
[19] Ukrainian Defense Review #2 [April-June 2013] by Defense Express - Issuu
[20] https://docs.tuyap.online/FDOCS/23347.pdf
[21] new
[22] SE SFTF "Ukroboronexport"
[23] new
[25] https://www.loneflyer.com/2015/11/11/vympel-r-27-aa-10-alamo/
[26] July 26 2004 | Aviation Week (page 36)
[27] http://www.ausairpower.net/PDF-A/0915-ADM-Rebuttal.pdf (page 8)
[28] https://asiapacificdefencereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/APDR_Sept_2022_Whole-Mag_Interactive.pdf (page 23)
[29] https://docs.rferl.org/az-AZ-Latn/2015/02/11/3cda1357-0655-41b4-827d-0a34fb5262d4.pdf (page 162)
[30] http://www.defence.org.cn/aspnet/vip-usa/uploadFiles/2007-11/20071113075531____1lu46D.pdf
[31] https://www.armscom.net/products/r_27_medium_range_air_to_air_missile_family
[32] Houthis unveil Russian air-to-air missiles as SAMs
[33] https://www.deagel.com/Defensive Weapons/R-27/a001034
[34] Aircraft missile R-27 (K-27) | Missilery.info
[35] Ukrainian Defense Review #1 [January-March 2017] by Defense Express - Issuu
[36] R-27 - "AIR-TO-AIR" GUIDED MISSILE
[37] The R-27 is a Soviet medium-range air-to-air.. | ВКС РОССИИ | VK
[38] https://chtyvo.org.ua/authors/Ukrainian_Defense_Review/2013_N2.pdf
[39] R-27 (AA-10 Alamo) :: Ruslet
[40] http://www.ausairpower.net/SP/DT-Missile-Survey-May-05.pdf (page 66)
[41] https://en.defence-ua.com/news/arms_security_2021_expo_radionix_introduces_its_new_active_radar_seeker_for_use_with_kb_luch_developed_sam_missile_coral-1929.html
[42] https://www.researcher-app.com/paper/10026464
[43] https://www.machtres.com/lang1/kab1.html
[44] https://www.vayuaerospace.in/article/763/index.aspx
[45] Air-to-Air Missiles - What’s New Around
[46] https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/a-guide-to-chinas-increasingly-impressive-air-to-air-missile-inventory
[47] ‘FULCRUM’: PART ONE THE STORY OF A RUSSIAN CLASSIC
[48] https://www.armadainternational.com/2017/11/of-sparrows-and-sidewinders-aam/
[49] https://static.rusi.org/russian_and_chinese_combat_air_trends_whr_final_web_version.pdf
[50] American Innovation: Threat Analysis: Su-35S Part II - Armament R-27 & R-73
[51] https://www.foi.se/rest-api/report/FOI-R--4991--SE
[52] Here’s how Houthis were able to deploy R-27/R-60/R-73/R-77 Air-to-Air Missiles as SAMs against Saudi-led Coalition Aircraft - The Aviation Geek Club
[53] http://sistemasdearmas.com.br/aam/aa10.html
[54] https://books.google.com/books?id=ff-zDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT396&lpg=PT396&dq=R-27R+“datalink”&source=bl&ots=5CDTVCf7Wu&sig=ACfU3U3MKgiuRnGhSvAzFscl8MIttp31GQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiA-Pi6icb8AhVCIUQIHZBeBa0Q6AF6BQjDAhAD
[55] http://www.defence.org.cn/aspnet/vip-usa/uploadFiles/2007-11/20071113075531____1lu46D.pdf
[56] https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/69/d1/79/4740f42ef147c3/RU2259536C1.pdf

Bibliography

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[24] Soviet air to air missiles, Viktor Markovsky & Konstantin Perov
Pic of cover
https://youtu.be/V3TlOEeb6Bw
https://youtu.be/UFV8bwNhHD0

3 Likes

Placeholder comment

Looking at documents for R-27ER and doing some math…

At 10km altitude, target and launch aircraft traveling at 1100 km/h if the R-27ER is launched from 25km rear aspect it would have traveled 43.33km in a total of around 60s.

I will use these parameters to test other missiles and ascertain their performances similarly, obviously adjusting distance between launch aircraft and target until I’ve determined maximum kinematic range.

2 Likes


piece on R-27P/EPs from aviation week note they are infact meant to target western fighter radars however it is noted their terminal accuracy was relatively poor.

1 Like

As far as I know is one of the main sources indicating the existence of the R-77P as well.

Wonder why they never put any sort of DL to the T variants? Feels like wasted potential :P
EDIT: IRL that is

Seeker ranges are adequate and datalink for IR missiles would only really be necessary to fully realize frontal engagement ranges beyond a NEZ… which isn’t truly useful as most modern fighters have MAWS that allow them to simply turn around and run at those ranges.

Datalink is also useful for lock on after launch for HOBS shots, but the R-27T/ET doesn’t have that kind of capability anyway.

1 Like

R-27P - with passive radar GPS 9B-1102. It is designed to defeat AWACS aircraft and other radio-emitting aerial targets at any time of the day, in simple and difficult weather conditions, in the front hemisphere, including against the background of various underlying surfaces, ensuring the defeat of aircraft that put active radar interference to cover their aircraft. The explosive device is a radio fuse and a contact sensor of the target. The warhead is a rod-bearing type. The capture range of a typical PRGSN 9B-1102 target is more than 200 km, which exceeds the ballistic range of the missile. The minimum firing range is 2-3km, the overload of the affected targets is 5.5g. PRGSN 9B-1102 is produced by JSC Omsk Plant Automation.

R-27P, R-27EP1 - export versions of the R-27P and R-27EP missiles. The maximum launch range in PPS is 72 and 110 km for the R-27P and R-27P1, respectively. The height of hitting targets is 0.02-20km.

R-27EM is part of the Su-33 armament and is used against Tomahawk cruise missiles and Harpoon-type anti-ship missiles at a minimum height of 3m above the water surface. It is equipped with an ARGSN with a two-stage guidance system - inertial with radio correction with the transition to active radar homing at the end of the flight. The firing range in the ZPS is 170km, in the PPS - 110km.
Su-34 with R-27EP missiles…

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1 Like

Anyone know any sources on lock ranges of the early (36T) IR seeker of the R-27T/R-27ET?
I found these two.

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IsjL3tHXJTdjHaOSKr51vRxC5qZDwBt6zRf7jxpA

401404_original

Both mention higher lock-on ranges than what we currently have in-game (to get a 15 km lock you would have to be at least side aspect for an afterburning target, but usually closer to rear aspect). One of them mentions that the lock ranges are for an F-15, but doesn’t mention the throttle position of the target (Soviets usually use 100% throttle, i.e. max throttle with no AF)

2 Likes

I’ve already got an open report on the issue. Do you know where the top image came from? I can add it to the sources.

https://community.gaijin.net/issues/p/warthunder/i/KxpZP6pVerJi

1 Like

Not only does the new MiG-29SMT have a 90 degree gimbal (I think should be 85 degrees? Will report if so)… but the MFD allows you to zoom in on what the HUD is looking at. You can identify targets a bit further out using this zoom.
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/955829235493273680/1151252147116199976/shot_2023.09.12_14.22.54.jpg

Guessing that’s a bug.

It’s just a view of the HUD, I can’t imagine it’s a bug.

I think its just supposed to be a HUD repeater mode for the MFD, like on the old MiG-29. But its still displaying the feed from the Kh-29T’s/KAB-500Kr’s.

There’s no camera for the MFD to display otherwise.

There is a separate thing for the Kh-29s
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/955829235493273680/1151253524433358998/shot_2023.09.12_14.30.06.jpg

Also, currently (from some limited testing) the R-27R and R-27ER will trigger a launch warning on RWR even when not in SARH guidance stage, which is about 25 km for fighter-sized targets. Meaning, if launched from sufficiently far away, the RWR of the target should not warn about an incoming missile until it is close enough, assuming that the radio commands are not detectable by the RWR.

I know, but it shouldn’t show with the hud.

That’s because the radar signal changes between simple track and guidance methods.

Also

Should be a bug. SMT doesn’t have anything to provide image to MFD except TV guided munitions. It still uses old IRST.