Air Weapons: June 20, 2003


The Israeli company Rafael has introduced the Python 5 air-to-air heat seeking missile. The Python 5 can go after a target anywhere around the launching aircraft. The missile is an improved version of the 1993 Python 4. The new missile has the same weight and dimensions (295 pounds, ten feet long and 6.4 inches in diameter), but uses much improved electronics and computing capability. The new missiles sensors are immune to flares and can track very small targets (for a heat seeking missile), like helicopters, single engine propeller driven aircraft and cruise missiles.) The missile is much more effective in cloudy or misty conditions. It also has an improved warhead and proximity fuse, making a kill more certain.


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