The R-Darter is a beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile guided by an active radar homing seeker. It was designed and manufactured by the South African firm Kentron, now known as Denel Dynamics.

The South African air-to-air missile program benefited from cooperation with Israel [3] during the 1980s and the R-Darter is very similar to the Python Derby.

Class Missile
Type Air to Air
Manufacturer Denel
Origin South Africa
Country Name Origin Year
South Africa 1995
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
South Africa 1995 2008 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Denel View

The missile armed the South African Air Force's Cheetah C fighter aircraft and was withdrawn from service when those were retired in 2008. The SAAF has not yet publicly announced which BVR missile will be procured to equip the 26 Saab JAS 39 Gripens which have replaced the Cheetahs.

The Brazilian Air Force is said to be evaluating the R-Darter for use with their F5 fighters since Denel will be selling the missiles used for the test at a low price, as they are nearing the end of their shelf-life.

It was reported in 2010 that the R-Darter is being operated by the Pakistan Air Force.

Type Air-to-air missile
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service 1995-2008
Used by South African Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer Denel Dynamics
Weight 118 kg (260 lb)
Length 3.62 m (11.88 ft)
Diameter 0.16 m (6.3 in)
Engine Solid-fuel rocket
>60 km (>37 mi)
Active radar homing
Combat aircraft:
Atlas Cheetah C/D

End notes