The V4 R- Darter is a radar- guided air-to -air medium-range missile. It is used by the South African group Kentron (now Denel Dynamics ) for the South African Air Force ( SAAF ), established since 1994.

History and Technology

The development of the V4 began in the mid- 1980s with the aim of a radar- guided air-to - air missile with a long range for the SAAF to have. Since South Africa was at the time under a UN arms embargo, you had no opportunity to obtain similar weapons from abroad. It was developed so that it was immune to all known at the time of electronic countermeasures. Furthermore, it should be combined with a modern aircraft radar so that the pilot could attack multiple air targets simultaneously. It was possible with the R- Darter, to acquire a target before launch (lock on before launch ) but also capture a target after shooting down the rocket (lock on after launch ) and to lead to the finish. The target detection was possible, as in the Kentron V3 on the helmet display. During development, the update option has also been considered and it has been designed pursuant to facilitate this.

In production, the R- Darter went in 1994. In the service of the SAAF, she was asked back in 1995 and used on the Atlas Cheetah C / D. The public was officially introduced until 2000 at the African Aerospace and Defence show.

Since then, there are the rumors that the R- Darter similar, if not even a derivative of the Israeli Derby. South African sources dispute this. There is also no evidence that Kentron has with the Israelis in the context of a project for a radar- guided air-to - air missile, worked. But a lot of data on R- Darter are still classified as secret.

In 2005 that was known was the Força Aérea Brasileira ten R- Darter for a price of 100000-200000 U.S. dollars, bought program for the F- 5BR for testing. But you chose 2006, built by Rafael Derby. Other possible exports to Pakistan and even Romania soon proved to be a hoax. Since then, Ecuador acquired in early 2011 for $ 54 million 12 Cheetah, the rumors hold that you would like to purchase the R- Darter.

The R- Darter was originally intended for the Saab 39 Gripen, but it is not implemented. In 2003 it was decided to make the V4 along with Cheetah in 2008 out of service. About a possible successor to much speculation, it will be developed according to a statement of a firm speaker under the name of B or T- Darter.