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Vympel R-23


NATO: AA-7 Apex


Overview


R-23R

Semi-active radar homing R-23R missile on display in a museum in Ukraine.
Source: George Chernilevsky - © Public domain

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Long range air to air missile
Entered service
1974
Status
Limited service
Development
Mid 1960's - Early 1970's
Developer
Soviet Union - Vympel
Production
1973 - ? (USSR)
1989 - ? (Romania)
Producer
Soviet Union - Vympel
Romania - Romtechnika
Designations
AA-7 Apex (NATO reporting name)
A911 (Romanian production R-23T)
Izdeliye 340 (article index for R-23R)
Izdeliye 360 (article index for R-23T)
Izdeliye 140 (article index for R-24R)
Izdeliye 160 (article index for R-24T)

Variants


The R-23 air to air missile comes with SARH or IR seeker. The R-23T is the SARH variant, which has a longer pointed nose. The IR variant has a round nose with glass window. Otherwise both missiles are identical.

For the MiG-23ML/MLD the improved R-24 series was introduced. By using rocket fuel with higher energy density the range and speed are improved. Seekers are improved as well. The SARH variant has lock-on after launch ability. The IR guided variant has better sensitivity. On both missiles minimum engagement range was reduced significantly.

R-23R
R-23 missile with semi-active radar homing. Known in the West as the AA-7A.
R-23T
R-23 missile with infrared homing. Known in the West as the AA-7B.
R-24R
Improved R-23R with improved rocket motor and lock-on after launch capability. Known in the West as the AA-7C.
R-24T
Improved R-23T with improved rocket motor and more sensitive seeker. Known in the West as the AA-7D.
R-23UT
Inert captive training round.

Details


Facts R-23R R-23T R-24R R-24T
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Air to air missile
Dimensions
Length
4.46 m
Diameter
223 mm
Wingspan
1.0 m
Weight
222 kg
Guidance
Terminal phase
Semi-active radar homing
Lock-on
Lock-on before launch
Warhead
Type
HE-Fragmentation
Weight
25 kg
Fuse
Proximity fuze
Engagement envelope
Propulsion
Solid propellant rocket motor
Speed
Mach 3
Range
35 km maximum
2 km miminum
Altitude
25 km ceiling
G force
5 G target maneuvers
4 G launch platform maneuvers

Media