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Weapon - Air-to-Air - V3C Darter

Weapon Stats:

Speed: Mach 2
Range: 0.3-10 km, 0.2-6.2 miles
Length: 2.75 m, 9.02 ft
Diameter: 15.7 cm, 6.18 ft
Weight: 89 kg, 196 lb
Explosives: 16 kg (35.3 lb) Torpex 2A Fragmentation (Tungsten cube)
Propulsion: Double-base solid-propellant rocket

V3C Darter

Status: Out of service
Category: Air-to-Air

A greatly improved version of the short-range V3B AAM, it was cleared for use with the Mirage III, Mirage F1 and Cheetah aircraft. The missile is linked to the helmet-mounted acquisition system which allows the pilot to lock the missiles seeker head onto the target well outside his aircraft's axis. It is comparable to the AIM-9L Sidewinder. Using both contact and laser proximity fuses, launch velocity is the aircraft's speed plus 600m/s. It can be fired against targets within 15 degrees of the sun, and in look-down mode.

Produced from 1986, the Darter has a larger-diameter fuselage when compared to the V3B, gimble limits were increased to 55 degrees and incorporated shorter reaction times and a laser fuse. Lead bias was optimised from 20 to 160 degrees by using a colour guidance system to distinguish between aircraft and decoy flares. The Bush War ended before it entered service in 1990, but was still used by the Impala Mk II. Further development of the Kenron V3C ceased in favour of the larger U-Darter.


V3C training round under the wing of a Cheetah C. V3C training round under the wing of a Cheetah C.