MAA-1 Piranha

The MAA-1A Piranha is a short-range infrared homing missile and the first air-to-air missile developed by Brazil for its Air Force and Navy. It was designed to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile in Brazilian service and has since been exported to Colombia, Indonesia and Pakistan.

MAA-1 Piranha
Class Missile
Type Air to Air
Manufacturer Mectron
Origin Brazil
Country Name Origin Year
Brazil 1976
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Brazil 1976 View
Colombia View
Indonesia View
Pakistan View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Mectron View

Development of an air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-9B Sidewinder in FAB service began in March 1976 by Brazil's Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço (IAE). By 1978 it had been defined as a weapon similar in capability to the AIM-9G. The project was classified until 1981. The pace of the project was quickened after the 1982 Falklands war and the missile was dubbed Piranha. Contracts were awarded to DF Vasconcellos SA, a Brazilian company with experience in optics and guided weaponry which was given the task of developing the weapon's infra-red seeker. However the company went bankrupt in the mid-1980s and it abandoned the Piranha project in 1986.

Piranha achieved some degree of operational capability in September 1992. It has been assumed that the missile achieved initial operational capability in 1993 coinciding with the last test campaign. The MAA-1 project has been handled by many Brazilian companies since its inception in the 1970s but finally was Mectron in the 1990s who developed the MAA-1 missile weapon system.

In 2005 a South African Skua high-speed target drone was used in final testing of the MAA-1A in order to simulate an aircraft by towing infrared targets at high speed.

Type Short-range air-to-air missile
Place of origin Brazil
Service history
Used by Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Navy
Colombian Air Force
Indonesian Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer Mectron
Laser proximity fuse
Engine Solid-fuel rocket
Propellant Solid fuel
Infrared homing

End notes