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K-25: Soviet Sparrow clone

overscan (PaulMM)

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Among the war booty retrieved from Vietnam were several examples of the AIM-7 "Sparrow". Work began in the second half on
1966 on copying the AIM-7 missile under the designation of K -25. Full-scale experimental design work on K-25 started after a party decree issued November 13, 1967. The Soviet counterpart to the AIM-7, the K-23, was already quite far along at the time, but copying a working US missile reduced technical risk and, being notably lighter than K-23, would reduce the weapons load of the MiG-23. Work on the K-25 was carried out by Vympel, developer of the K-23, but under two separate teams, with the K-25 team led by V.T. Korsakovym and the K-23 team led by V.A. Pustovoytova.

In order to simplify the copying process, rather than copying the original some substitutions for equivalent Soviet materials was accepted, but this caused problems. The development process was not smooth, but test firings were made in the early 1970s. However, K-23 was being accepted for service, and was designed to work with the MiG-23's Sapfir-23 radar, so K-25 was ruled out from the MiG-23 weapons system. However, while Russian sources normally portray the K-25 as a somewhat pointless design effort, in fact early iterations of the MiG-29 and Su-27 were drawn with the K-25, not the K-23, so clearly it was thought at the time that it would be potentially superior. By 1974 however, it was clear it was out of date, and not suitable for arming a new generation of aircraft. The effort wasn't wasted however; the experience from both K-23 and K-25 programs was fed into development of the new K-27 missile.

Photo attached from GosNIIAS museum from missiles.ru site.
 

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mrdetonator

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overscan said:


Something for you Paul....translate.
copy&paste

Работы по ракете К-23 еще не успели полностью развернуться, как из воюющего Вьетнама был получен "подарок" - американская ракета AIM-7E "Спэрроу". Во время налета на порт Хайфон был сбит американский истребитель-бомбардировщик F-4. Он упал в море и затонул на небольшой глубине, благодаря чему сохранились неразрушенными подвешенные на нем ракеты.

Одна из ракет была доставлена в Москву и поступила на изучение. Другая ракета была "снята" с упавшего горящего самолета F-4 группой советских специалистов, находившихся во Вьетнаме. У ряда военных и гражданских специалистов возникла идея воспроизведения этой ракеты в отечественном образце наподобие ситуации "Сайдуиндер" - К-13.

Главный довод состоял в том, что на ракете AIM-7E уже использовалась головка непрерывного излучения, работающая на фоне земли, а разрабатываемая главным конструктором Е. Н. Геништой отечественная РГС-23 еще не показала своих качеств. Было принято решение о воспроизводстве - разработке ракеты К-25 как аналога AIM-7E "Спэрроу".

На основе тщательного сравнительного анализа характеристик ракет К-25 (AIM-7E) и К-23 институт НИИ-2 занял позицию отстаивания отечественной разработки. Основным аргументом при этом было то, что ракета AIM-7E представляет собой устаревшую модель и ее копирование означает шаг назад, в то время как американцы уже начали работы по модернизации AIM-7F.

Другим важным аргументом было то, что в РГС-23 используется более прогрессивный моноимпульсный метод обработки радиолокационного сигнала в отличие от метода конического сканирования в РГС ракеты AIM-7E. Правота позиции института была подтверждена временем, и в модификации AIM-7M (следующей за AIM-7F) американцы тоже перешли на моноимпульсный принцип, но с опозданием почти на десять лет.

Таким образом, удалось добиться продолжения работ по ракете К-23 параллельно с работами по К-25, что было продублировано постановлением от 17.11.67 г. Главным конструктором ракеты К-23 был назначен В. А. Пустовойтов. Началась параллельная конкурсная разработка двух ракет - К-25 и К-23, выполнявшаяся практически одним и тем же коллективом (за исключением головок самонаведения).

Создалась ситуация, позволявшая заимствовать оригинальные идеи, реализованные в зарубежной ракете, для улучшения собственной разработки. Однако из ракеты "Спэрроу" практически ничего заимствовано не было, хотя оригинальных технических решений в ней было использовано много. В разработке ракеты К-23 НИИ-2 участвовал с самого начала; исследования по этой ракете проводил большой коллектив специалистов под руководством Е. А. Федосова, Р. Д. Кузьминского, В. Ф. Левитина.

В 1973 г. ракета К-23 (под наименованием Р-23) была принята на вооружение истребителя МиГ-23. Параллельная разработка ракеты К-25 завершилась изготовлением нескольких опытных образцов и была прекращена в начале летных испытаний, после того как стало очевидным ее отставание по срокам и характеристикам от ракеты Р-23.

Ракета Р-23 около 10 лет сохраняла превосходство по тактико-техническим характеристикам над однотипными зарубежными ракетами по уровню эффективности в сложной информационной обстановке, помехозащищенности от всех известных типов активных совмещенных помех и в условиях отражений от подстилающей поверхности при атаке низколетящей цели. Только в 1982 г. ракета AIM-7M "Спэрроу" с доплеровской моноимпульсной головкой самонаведения достигла паритетного уровня с ракетой Р-23.
 

flateric

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Создалась ситуация, позволявшая заимствовать оригинальные идеи, реализованные в зарубежной ракете, для улучшения собственной разработки. Однако из ракеты "Спэрроу" практически ничего заимствовано не было, хотя оригинальных технических решений в ней было использовано много.

"The situation allowed to borrow the original ideas realized in a foreign rocket, for an improvement of own design. However, practically nothing has been borrowed from a Sparrow, though it contained many original technical decisions."

What a language we have! I like it! If you think that K-25 looks very close to Sparrow, you are wrong - practically nothing was copied. ;D
 

mrdetonator

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flateric said:
Создалась ситуация, позволявшая заимствовать оригинальные идеи, реализованные в зарубежной ракете, для улучшения собственной разработки. Однако из ракеты "Спэрроу" практически ничего заимствовано не было, хотя оригинальных технических решений в ней было использовано много.

"The situation allowed to borrow the original ideas realized in a foreign rocket, for an improvement of own design. However, practically nothing has been borrowed from a Sparrow, though it contained many original technical decisions."

What a language we have! I like it! If you think that K-25 looks very close to Sparrow, you are wrong - practically nothing was copied. ;D

Geeez ;D They are saying that no technical ideas were transfered from K-25(AIM-7E) to K-23(R-23), bcs the AIM-7E version was technically inferior to R-23, even though the AIM-7E comprised many original solutions.

Nas Nedogonyat ;)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Though some ideas from K-25 were used on R-27. Food for thought there ;)

Technically inferior is not accurate really. R-23 had better ECCM due to seeker, slightly worse range and was larger/heavier. It used tail controls, which were familiar to Soviet designers, while K-25 needed powerful actuators to drive the all moving wings. More importantly, R-23 already worked, and was designed for the Sapfir-23 radar.

R-27 actually went to moving wings, with the mid mounted reverse sweep bow tie controls. R-77 then reverted to tail controls....
 

mrdetonator

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overscan said:
Though some ideas from K-25 were used on R-27. R-27 actually went to moving wings, with the mid mounted reverse sweep bow tie controls. R-77 then reverted to tail controls....

Yes indeed, but is this not enough evidence to prove that even the Sparrow aero.configuration was inferior to R-23 when later on they all went back to tail controls?
Both missiles were the same max. range class 30km head on, the R-23 had 25kg more weight but also 500mm more lenght with the same diameter. No doubt about it, the most important gear component on the R-23R, the seeker has been technically superior. Then why so much speculations or making up crappy and worthless stories like this one when taking into consideration above mentioned.

In order to simplify the copying process, rather than copying the original some substitutions for equivalent Soviet materials was accepted, but this caused problems.

I`m sorry to say that, but sometimes you remind me a lot of Tom Cooper from Acig and his endless hyping of soviet hardware in negative way.

Best regards
detonator

Here is also some food worth to translate.
По системе ракет К-27/К-27Э на этапе технических предложений был организован конкурс между КБ "Вымпел" и "Молния", который был выигран КБ "Вымпел". В эскизном проекте ракета К-27/К-27Э была представлена в вариантах нормальной аэродинамической схемы и схемы "утка", управляемой по всем трем каналам развитыми по площади рулями с обратной стреловидностью по передней кромке. ГосНИИАС поддерживалась "нормальная" схема.

Результаты сравнительного анализа показывали, что схема "утка" перетяжелена, переусложнена, имеет большее аэродинамическое сопротивление при нулевом угле атаки и худшее аэродинамическое качество. Однако в выборе схемы в силу ряда причин, в том числе не всегда технического порядка, победила линия КБ "Вымпел" и ЦАГИ, и ракета К-27/К-27Э была создана по существующей схеме. Жизнь показала, что схема оказалась малоперспективной, не получившей развития в последующих разработках.

Парадокс состоял в том, что от нормальной схемы ракеты К-23 отечественные разработчики перешли к схеме промежуточной между "уткой" и "поворотным крылом", близкой к схеме ракеты AIM-7 "Спэрроу", а американские разработчики отказались от схемы "Спэрроу" в пользу нормальной схемы при переходе к ракете AMRAAM.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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mrdetonator said:
overscan said:
In order to simplify the copying process, rather than copying the original some substitutions for equivalent Soviet materials was accepted, but this caused problems.

I`m sorry to say that, but sometimes you remind me a lot of Tom Cooper from Acig and his endless hyping of soviet hardware in negative way.

Best regards
detonator

I'm sorry but that is arrant nonsense Martin. The line you isolate is directly from Russian sources on the K-25 (Markovsky,etc) and nothing of my own interpretation.

The K-25 wasn't better than the K-23 overall; that much is obvious. The Russians weren't above producing copied designs (K-13, R-13M) where there was no equivalent domestic alternative. Some parts of the Soviet military-industrial complex thought US weapons were superior; Fedosov (GosNIIAS) who had been in charge of the K-13 project was one. Note that Mikoyan and Sukhoi were busy putting K-25s on their early design concepts for the PFI program.

Once it came to testing, it was clear there was no advantage in the K-25 over the K-23as an overall weapons system.

Thats not the same as saying it was inferior in all respects, and some of the technologies from K-25 were carried over to K-27, just as the best parts of the K-23 were carried over.
 

flateric

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My fault - I just didn't look at the context while translating. Did we actually use Sparrow tech - I leave it up to Overscan who knows much more, and Muxel, who surely knows even more (if he can tell us).
 

mrdetonator

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overscan said:
I'm sorry but that is arrant nonsense Martin. The line you isolate is directly from Russian sources on the K-25 (Markovsky,etc) and nothing of my own interpretation.
Then I apologize for putting you in the same bag with Tom Cooper. ;)

Anyway, after reading the story written by V.Markovskij again your own interpretation still seems to me a bit ripped out of the context. You`ve picked out sentences leaving the impression that if soviets were able to manage problems with reproducing original systems(materials) of the captured Aim-7E, they would get clearly superior missile at the end. I shall apologize to you again when I`m wrong, but this is what I thought you ment.

From V.Markovskij
copy & paste
Копирование американского образца требовало не только воспроизведения конкретной
конструкции, но и организации выпуска предельно идентичных материалов и, что намного
сложнее, элементной базы бортовой аппаратуры. Кроме того, эту аппаратуру следовало увязать с
бортовой РЛС "Сапфир-23". Наряду с этими текущими трудностями сказались и более общие
соображения, не способствующие форсированию работ по К-25. Уже в то время у американцев
завершалась разработка более совершенного варианта "Сперроу" AIM-7F. Воспроизводя
предшествующую модификацию, советские специалисты заведомо обрекали себя на отставание от
США. По ряду решений американская ракета явно уступала К-23.Наконец, учитывалось и то
обстоятельство, что воспроизведение зарубежного образца не могло быть отмечено на столь
высоком уровне, как создание оригинальной отечественной ракеты.


I`ve tried to make a translation.
The Copying of American model demanded not only the reproduction of the specific design of the missile and setting up the production of identical materials, but what`s more complicated the component basis of the missile on-board "guidance" system. The missile on-board system also had to be coupled with the RLS Sapfir-23. Due to such complexity a mutual opinion originated not to support works on the K-25. During that time Americans finished works on the advanced version of the Sparrow missile, the AIM-7F. Therefore by reproducing the previous modification the AIM-7E, soviet specialist were purposely making the lag behind the USA. The American missile was clearly inferior to the K-23 in many design solutions. At last when taking into account circumstances that copying a foreign missile example could not be done with high degree of quality as that of original home-made product.

I hope with this view you get a different impression what V.Markovskij wanted to say in that article you read and therefore why Russian sources normally portray the K-25 as a somewhat pointless design effort.
Note that Soviets, especially the OKB MIG had experiences with the development of the K-9-155 missile which showed similar aerodynamics scheme as the Sparrow missile although with not all moving wings. It is also interesting to say that when looking the new book "Istrebitel Su-27 natchalo istorii" there is not a single word about the K-25, the predecessor of K-27. Regarding the question what was used from K-25 to develop the K-27 V. Markovskij answers.

....в частности исследования по аэродинамической схеме, близкой к поворотному крылу и по гидравлическому рулевому приводу, были использованы в ракетах семейства К-27.
 

flateric

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We are starting to move into delicate area of how many and how much Soviet designs were copy-cat tech. It's endless and not much productive. I always was wondering of examples of reverse copying (if ever existed), BTW.
 

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На основе тщательного сравнительного анализа характеристик ракет К-25 (AIM-7E) и К-23 институт НИИ-2 занял позицию отстаивания отечественной разработки. Основным аргументом при этом было то, что ракета AIM-7E представляет собой устаревшую модель и ее копирование означает шаг назад, в то время как американцы уже начали работы по модернизации AIM-7F.

In case of the Aim-7E there was not much to gain(they didn`t say nothing), apparently they were interested to verify the rare "UTKA" aerodynamics scheme with all moving wings. After not much successful missile K-9 they started the K-25 development mainly due to this reason.
 

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flateric said:
We are starting to move into delicate area of how many and how much Soviet designs were copy-cat tech. It's endless and not much productive. I always was wondering of examples of reverse copying (if ever existed), BTW.
You misunderstood. There are two views regarding the matter of K-25 development, his and mine.
You do have your own opinion about that, do you?...or you again leave it up to Overscan who knows much more.
 

flateric

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Hell with the missiles - I'm not spook with 'em as I said. Just my right eye begin tickling every time I hear that bullshit that we didn't copycat anything ('OK, may be, except that damn B-29') and it's just aerodynamic that dictates the same decisions. GRU then wouldn't spent so much time, money and field agents lives trying to get all that stuff, if designers didn't need that stuff at all. 'Oh, there are many interesting stuffies, thanks for that, comrades, but you know, we will not use that Sparrow junk at all. Hmm, you know what? Bring us Phoenix next time, OK? May be something of it we can use - say, some nuts and bolts color scheme." And every article you read of the things like this - everywhere we didn't copy anything. That hypocrisy sucks.

At least Chinese don't make attempt to say that too definitive.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The K-25 was intended for the earliest Su-27 variants only, but information on the K-27 was slow in arriving so K-25 may have been used longer as a size placeholder.
 

Avimimus

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Its actually quite remarkable how different a lot of Soviet designs are (and aerial doctrines) - shows very independent thinking.
 

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it was on an Air International article, probably about Vympel in the early 2000s and which just maybe ı could find to have proof , the missiles copied were '7Ms which the Russians dug up from Phantom wrecks in rice paddies of Vietnam (along with the J-79s that went into become the engines for Su-20s.) No doubt the Russians couldn't trust them . All those chips they couldn't produce themselves .

original isn't it ? Though the real cause would be a typewriter mistake on the part of the writer and the editors missing it . ı won't be blamed for that one ...
 

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Was the K-25 the that had the NATO designation AA-4 Awl or am I thinking of another missile?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Rocket K-25 ("product 370")

The background to the development of this rocket almost repeats the events that led to the creation of the K-13 rocket. Again, in the course of a local war in the Far East, a trophy sample of modern American technology in a relatively intact condition went to the armed forces of a country friendly to the Soviet Union. The scale of the long-term war in Vietnam is incomparable with the quickly ended conflict over the Taiwan Strait. The presence of Soviet specialists in Southeast Asia was not an episodic but a permanent one. Our compatriots quickly got acquainted with the missiles taken by the Vietnamese from the Phantom, which sank at a shallow depth near Haiphong, and from other downed American planes.

Captured samples of "Sparrow" allowed from the second half of 1966 to begin work on the reproduction of the next overseas sample under the designation K-25. A full-scale R&D project on the K-25 was deployed by order of the party and government of November 13, 1967. Despite the fact that by this time the development of the Soviet "counterweight" of the Sparrow - the K-23 missile - had been under way for almost four years, copying a workable American model reduced the degree of technical risk and opened up the prospect of a 1.5-fold lightening of the MiG-23 missile armament.

But at the end of the initial stage of work, the similarity of the stories of K-13 and K-25 is interrupted. Over the past decade, the level of development of rocketry in the Soviet Union has increased immeasurably. If in 1958 the only K-5M air-to-air missile was in service with the Soviet Air Force, then by the end of the 1960s. In addition to the "thermal" and "radio" versions of the K-13, our aviation arsenal has been replenished with missiles of the R-8 / R-98, R-4, R-55 families; tests of the K-40 were completed. Deployment of work on K-25 by a team of designers headed by VT Korsakov did not stop the development of its direct competitor K-23, which was carried out in the same design organization - MKB Vympel - under the leadership of VA Pustovoitov. The homing head was developed by the team of NA Viktorov.

Copying the American model required not only the reproduction of a specific design, but also the organization of the production of extremely identical materials and, which is much more complicated, the element base of the onboard equipment. In addition, this equipment should be linked to the Sapfir-23 airborne radar. Already at that time, the Americans were completing the development of a more advanced version of the "Sparrow" AIM-7R [sic - this should be AIM-9F] Reproducing the previous modification, Soviet specialists deliberately doomed themselves to lag behind the United States ... For a number of decisions, the American missile was clearly inferior to the K-23. In particular, it used a more susceptible to interference seeker with conical scanning, and not the monopulse used for our K-23.

However, there were also enthusiasts of playing "Sparrow", in particular, the head of "Vympel" AL Lyapin, according to EA Fedosov, more a technologist than a designer, was fascinated by the success of the copying of "Sidewinder" carried out under his direct supervision.

"Sparrow" itself carried a number of generally ambiguous and unusual technical solutions for our rocketry, not mastered at the level of products launched into a series. First of all, this refers to the general scheme of the "rotary wing" missile, previously implemented in the K-9, which, as is known, had not reached the stage of testing in a controlled flight. In comparison with the normal scheme adopted on the K-23, it provided more favorable guidance dynamics, especially at the final stage of flight before hitting the target, but it was characterized by worse aerodynamic quality and required the use of a powerful hydraulic system that had not been previously used on Soviet air-to-air missiles. steering drive.

Structurally, the K-25 ("product 370") repeated the American prototype. Behind the semi-active radar seeker DV-109 were located a proximity fuse, U-98 autopilot equipment, a power supply and steering drive unit, and a core warhead. The solid-propellant rocket engine was located in the tail section of the rocket; constructive measures to narrow the range of flight alignments (for example, a nozzle with an elongated gas duct) were not provided.

At the beginning of the development of the K-25, it was decided to use domestic counterparts with seemingly similar characteristics instead of some American materials. However, they did not ensure the operability of a number of systems and units, which significantly slowed down the process. In 1970, with the completion of the stage of autonomous development of K-23, MiG-21 PF No. 1203 was released, which was re-equipped for K-25 (the so-called E-7 with K-25). But due to the unavailability of the engine and steering gear, the K-25 was late, and the MiG-21 was used to study another "American" - the K-13M. The following year, the MiG-21 was again equipped with the APU-25-11 and fully prepared for autonomous missile testing.The equipment of the MiG-23M (No. 606 and 607) APU-25-23M, made according to the type of improved launchers for K-23,

Only at the beginning of 1972 did they begin factory tests (autonomous launches from the MiG-21), which were completed in March of the following year. In total, 20 launches were made in 1972. According to the results of tests with the MiG-23, three launches on parachute targets revealed a defect in the seeker DV-109A, which had to be refined. In 1973, the main volume of factory tests was carried out: 16 launches, including launches of telemetric and combat missiles at parachute targets and at La-17. However, by this time, flight tests of the K-23 on the MiG-23M had already been completed.At the beginning of 1974, it was planned to fire on the MiG-17 at low and high altitudes, but with the adoption of the K-23 into service by a joint decision of the Air Force, the Ministry of the Aviation Industry and other departments,

For some time, the K-25 was supposed to be used as weapons for more promising fighters. But it soon became clear that the use of a rocket designed overseas a decade and a half ago was incompatible with the achievement of the superiority of the domestic IV generation fighters over their American counterparts.

Nevertheless, work on the K-25 was not completely fruitless. A number of developments, in particular, research on an aerodynamic scheme close to a rotary wing, and on a hydraulic steering drive, were used in missiles of the K-27 family.
 

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It would've been interesting if we'd seen a Soviet Sparrow go into widespread service and no doubt they would've also developed and deployed an IR version too.
 

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Ok, just to be sure... Soviet KGB agents (or engineers, whatever) went scouring North Vietnam landscape to collect Phantom wrecks. And out of this...
- they cloned the J79 into the AL-21F
- they tried cloning Sparrow into (this thread) K-25

Pretty amazing when you think about it. Wikipedia has Phantom losses numbers, more or less 500 went down over a decade of conflict. I wonder how many wrecks did the Soviet recovered, and whether they extracted some out of Vietnam.
Has that story ever been told in detail ? the CIA bosses must have had kittens over this.
 

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Soviet KGB agents (or engineers, whatever)
It would've been both with the KGB agents being escorts also i'd say the GRU would've been involved too.
I wonder how many wrecks did the Soviet recovered, and whether they extracted some out of Vietnam
In addition to F-4s they'd also have wrecks of F-8s, RA-5Cs, A-4s,A-6s, F-105s and probably A-1s to examine. Amongst other weapons would've been AGM-12s, AGM-45 Shrikes, AGM-78 STAMs, various AIM-9 models and no doubt various early ECM pods (Plus fire-control systems).
 

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Intruders for strike, RF-4 and Vigilante for recon were quite advanced. Skyhawk and Crusaders were closer from Soviet designs simple and rugged - probably not much to gain. Skyraiders were ooooold stuff, Il-10 generation.
 

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- they cloned the J79 into the AL-21F
- they tried cloning Sparrow into (this thread) K-25

We actually cloned it, it even went to testing and worked fine, but before actual shooting against target drones were conducted, it was decided to cancel the project - because the "native" R-23 missile already successfully passed testings, and demonstrated better characteristics.
 

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- they cloned the J79 into the AL-21F
- they tried cloning Sparrow into (this thread) K-25

We actually cloned it, it even went to testing and worked fine, but before actual shooting against target drones were conducted, it was decided to cancel the project - because the "native" R-23 missile already successfully passed testings, and demonstrated better characteristics.
It's kind of disappointing that the "Sparrowski" never went into production like the AA-2 Atoll Sidewinder-clone did, it would've been funny seeing the reactions of Western defence analysts seeing Soviet MiGs carrying Sparrows;).
 

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It's kind of disappointing that the "Sparrowski" never went into production like the AA-2 Atoll Sidewinder-clone did, it would've been funny seeing the reactions of Western defence analysts seeing Soviet MiGs carrying Sparrows;).

Well, it was more primitive than our own R-23, so it was essentially reverse-engineered "just in case" - in case R-23 would hit some unforeseen problems in development, we would have backup in K-25. :)
 

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It's kind of disappointing that the "Sparrowski" never went into production like the AA-2 Atoll Sidewinder-clone did, it would've been funny seeing the reactions of Western defense analysts seeing Soviet MiGs carrying Sparrows ;).

Well, it was more primitive than our own R-23, so it was essentially reverse-engineered "just in case" - in case R-23 would hit some unforeseen problems in development, we would have backup in K-25. :)
Disagree. The head of Vympel thought it would be superior to the R-23, based on their experience with copying the Sidewinder. It was a bit of an industry joke when he got awarded a medal for developing the R-23 as he'd consistently championed the K-25 throughout. The K-25 designer moved on to designing the R-27.
 

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It's kind of disappointing that the "Sparrowski" never went into production like the AA-2 Atoll Sidewinder-clone did, it would've been funny seeing the reactions of Western defence analysts seeing Soviet MiGs carrying Sparrows;).

Well, it was more primitive than our own R-23, so it was essentially reverse-engineered "just in case" - in case R-23 would hit some unforeseen problems in development, we would have backup in K-25. :)
Yes I remember reading somewhere that the Soviet designers viewed the Sidewinder as a Graduate course in missile assembly.
I‘m supposed to buy that the Sparrow was old news? Pass.
 

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Yes I remember reading somewhere that the Soviet designers viewed the Sidewinder as a Graduate course in missile assembly.
In Ron Westrum's book about the Sidewinder it describes how Soviet engineers got hold of both stolen engineering-drawings and actual examples of the AIM-9B that after they evaluated the design they were practically having engineering orgasms over it:D.
 
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It's kind of disappointing that the "Sparrowski" never went into production like the AA-2 Atoll Sidewinder-clone did, it would've been funny seeing the reactions of Western defence analysts seeing Soviet MiGs carrying Sparrows;).

Well, it was more primitive than our own R-23, so it was essentially reverse-engineered "just in case" - in case R-23 would hit some unforeseen problems in development, we would have backup in K-25. :)
Perhaps the USSR should've produced both the AA-7 Apex AND the Sparrow-clone for purposes of redundancy.
 

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Perhaps the USSR should've produced both the AA-7 Apex AND the Sparrow-clone for purposes of redundancy.

Too costly, I'm afraid. However, must admit, redundancy was a thing that our industry loved. You see, the decisions of what to commission to service and what to produce weren't made by military; it was Party Central Committee decisions, and each major industrial complex have its own lobby in Party to secure its interests. That's why we have so many similar in performance systems in production at the same time, like T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks - they were from different factories, each factory lobbied heavily to receive orders for their tanks, so Politburo decided to compromise and order all three tanks at the same times. Terrible waste of people's money, I must admit... :(
 

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Yes I remember reading somewhere that the Soviet designers viewed the Sidewinder as a Graduate course in missile assembly.
I‘m supposed to buy that the Sparrow was old news? Pass.

By that time, 70s, Sparrow was old news.
If you are referring to the AIM-7E then you're correct (I wonder if any of that model are still in service?).
 

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Perhaps the USSR should've produced both the AA-7 Apex AND the Sparrow-clone for purposes of redundancy.

Too costly, I'm afraid. However, must admit, redundancy was a thing that our industry loved. You see, the decisions of what to commission to service and what to produce weren't made by military; it was Party Central Committee decisions, and each major industrial complex have its own lobby in Party to secure its interests. That's why we have so many similar in performance systems in production at the same time, like T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks - they were from different factories, each factory lobbied heavily to receive orders for their tanks, so Politburo decided to compromise and order all three tanks at the same times. Terrible waste of people's money, I must admit... :(

In the rocket industry it also reached sheer levels of absurdity, aggravated by old hatred between rocket scientists (Glushko hated Korolev who hated Yangel and everybody hated Chelomei).

Piotr Dementyev at MAP (aviation ministry) hated Afanasyev at MOM (rocket industry) since the days in 1960 when MAP strategic bombers and cruise missiles had been slaughtered with the OKBs passed to MOM. Kruschtchev screwed five aviation OKBs (among them Myasischtev - goddam name - Tsybin and Lavotchkin ) and send the remains to MOM rocket industry "to churn missiles like sausages"

Dementyev had his son Gennadiy working on MiG Spiral (!) mostly to keep an eye on that project progress or lack thereoff, starving it of budget: it was MAP ploy to keep rockets at arm's length. Basically MAP didn't wanted MOM to use Spiral as a way to siphon their budget.

Imagine when Buran had to be created: being part airplane, part rocket, MAP and MOM would have to cooperate.
End result: while Nixon started the Shuttle in January 1972, it took four complete years for MAP and MOM to work together, and nothing moved until February 1976 and the decrees (which also created Mir, in passing).
 
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