The AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to- Air Missile (AMRAAM) was developed jointly by the US Air Force and Navy to succeed the AIM-7 Sparrow III. A 1980 Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between the United States, Great Britain, and (West) Germany agreed that the medium-range missile would also be produced in Europe. Non way signed the MOU in 1989 and France has observer sta­tus within the European group.

The General Motors -Hughes AIM-120A began full-scale development in December 1981. Flight tests began 1985 and series pro­duction of an initial purchase of 105 missiles began in October 1987. […]

AIM-54 Phoenix

The AIM-54A achieved its initial operational capability in 1974 with the introduction of the F-14A Tomcat. The Phoenix uses either an Aerojet Mk 60 or Rocketdyne Flexadyne Mk 47 long-burn-time solid-fuel rocket motor, semi-active radar midcourse guidance, active radar terminal guidance, and a impact or proximity fused 132 pound high explosive warhead. The missile is capable of Mach 5.0 at high altitudes and has a range in excess of 100 miles. At low altitudes, the AIM-54 is limited to Mach 3.8 by aerodynamic heating considerations. […]

F-14 Armament

The F-14 is equipped with eight external stores stations: stations 1A and 8A are the upper pylon stations, and are capable of carrying AIM-9 missiles; stations 1B and 8B are the bottom pylon stations, and can carry AIM-7, AIM-9, AIM-54 missiles, or LANTIRN pods. In addition to some ground attack ordnance; station 2 and 7 are located on the air intake trunks, and can carry external fuel tanks only; stations 3, 4. 5, and 6 are on the bottom of the fuselage and can carry AIM-7 or AIM-54 missiles, and a variety of ground attack ordnance. It should be noted that the references to stations are logical rather than physical, and refer to the wiring and switch positions used to interface to weapons. This is particularly true of stations 3, 4, 5, and 6, where the physical location can vary depending upon the store that is carried. […]

AIM-9 Sidewinder

The simple, effective infrared-homing Side­winder is the most widely used air-to-air mis­sile outside of the old Soviet Union with more than 110,000 having been produced. Develop­ment of the missile began in 1949 at the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake and the AIM-9 made its first flight on 11th September 1953. The Sidewinder is used by a variety of Western fixed-wing combat aircraft and helicopters, and has been adopted for surface-to-air use as the Chaparral missile. […]

AIM-7 Sparrow

An improved autopilot and better fusing, in the AIM-7F, was first introduced in 1977, solid- state electronics were substituted for the miniature vacuum tubes of the earlier versions. This miniaturization enabled the warhead to be moved forward of the wings, with the aft part of the missile being devoted almost entirely to the rocket motor. The extra space that was made available by the introduction of solid-state miniaturization made it possible to Introduce a dual-thrust booster/sustainer rock­et motor that enabled the effective range of the Sparrow to be essentially doubled (up to 28-30 miles) in a head-on engagement. […]

M61A1 Vulcan

The M61 operates on the Gatling principle – six 20-mm barrels are mounted on a geared rotor that is driven by a 20-hp electric motor. As the motor turns the rotor, the cam follower on the bolt of each rotating barrel follows a fixed cam path in the gun housing, opening and closing the bolt once per revolution. Firing only once per revo­lution reduces each barrel’s rate of fire to below that of most single-barrel revolver can­non. GE claims that this continuous rotary motion eliminates the impact loads on gun components and that sharing the thermal duty cycle among six barrels ‘significantly’ increas­es barrel life. The use of external power elimi­nates jamming due to a misfired round. […]


At the turn of the century, in parallel with the new-build Su-30MKI (for India), Su-30MKK (for China), Su-30MKM (for Malaysia) and Su-30MK2, the Sukhoi Holding Co. developed […]