Air-Launched Weapons

A-Darter completes flight tests

19 September 2018

South Africa’s Denel Dynamics has completed qualification testing of its fifth-generation A-Darter short-range air-to-air missile, Denel announced on 17 September.

Four guided launches were carried out at the Overberg Test Range, all of them against Skua targets. The first was carried out on 17 November 2017 and involved the missile’s lock-on-after-launch mode, with it acquiring and locking onto the Skua late in its ‘free flight’ phase and then achieving a direct hit. Denel said this demonstrated the missile’s ability to engage a target at ranges beyond the normal detection range of infrared seekers.

The second on 29 November 2017 was at close range with the missile performing a 180 degree turn after launch to intercept the target, thereby demonstrating the seeker’s wide look angle, the airframe’s ability to conduct high-G manoeuvres, and the performance of the thrust vector control system.

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