In yet another step to improve air superiority, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on Thursday that it has completed the development of the ground-based Air Defense version of the I-Derby ER (Extended Range) air-to-air missile.
During the test series that concluded earlier this week at Rafael’s facility in southern Israel, the company performed a ground launch to test the missile’s command and control, navigation and flight trajectory capabilities.
The company said that these tests serve as a significant milestone in I-Derby ER’s development, which is the newest and most advanced of Rafael’s electromagnetic air-to-air missiles, marking the completion of the missile’s ground-version development.
I-Derby ER Air-to-Air Missile
The I-Derby ER is an air-to-air long-range missile having a range of more than 100 km. It has a dual-pulse rocket motor and an active radar seeker, providing combat aircraft with exceptional performance advantages both at short ranges and beyond visual range.
The missile has fire-and-forget capabilities, allowing the operator to tackle multiple targets simultaneously.
Its light weight allows it to be adapted to a variety of modern fighter jets, including the F-16, F-15, F-18, Gripen, LCA and Typhoon, among others.
The I-Derby ER is identical in shape and size to the Derby missile currently in service worldwide.
In a press release, Rafael stressed that the ground-based air defense version of the missile can be integrated almost immediately with air defense batteries such as Rafael’s Spyder system, which provides air defense for ranges between 20-60 km. Launched from the ground, the I-Derby ER doubles the existing missile range and allows target interception within a range of up to 40 km. without a booster and 80 km. with a booster.
Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Pini Yungman, Rafael’s executive vice president and head of air and missile defense systems division is in charge of developing the missile. He said that “Rafael has been Israel’s national home of air-to-air missiles since the country’s founding when we developed Israel’s very first air-to-air missile – Shafrir. Ever since, Rafael has excelled in the development of various air-to-air missiles, many of which are in operational use today by the IDF and air forces worldwide.
“This week, we completed a series of tests in the development of the I-Derby missile in its latest version – ER – which allows for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) launches over 100 km.,” Yungman said.
“This is a key milestone in the development of a missile with some of the most advanced capabilities, giving it significant interception advantages in air-to-air battles, as well as ground-to-air air defense applications. These achievements provide significant air superiority to the fighter pilot or the air defense commander.”