RAFAEL is unveiling at Aero India 2015 a new version of the Derby missile. Designated I-Derby, the new missile is equipped with a new seeker, employing an advanced Software Defined Radar (SDR) based on combat proven technology derived from the Tamir interceptor, the interceptor used in RAFAEL’s Iron Dome system.
RAFAEL is unveiling at Aero India 2015 a new version of the Derby missile, a first step in a major revamp of the Israeli medium range BVR missile that has been in service since the mid 1990s.
India is already operating hundreds of Derby missiles with its Spyder Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles (QRSAM) and Sea Harrier fleet. Given their improved capabilities advanced versions of the Derby are also likely to be considered to equip the Indian Air Force Tejas LCA and improved Su-30MKI.
Rafael developed the Derby missile in the late 1980s as ‘Beyond Visual Range’ missile. Initially developed as an air/air missile, Derby proved as a highly capable weapon for medium and short range engagements as well, offering an alternative guidance technique to traditional heat seeking or imaging infra-red. In the mid 2000s Derby become part of the Spyder Short Range Air Defense System (SHORAD). The missiles have been fielded by a number of air forces, including India, Brazil, Singapore and Chile.
The Derby is equipped with an active radar seeker to provide the missile a ‘fire and forget’ engagement capability, beyond visual range and under all weather conditions. The new version modernizes one of the weapon’s key elements – the active radar seeker – which represents 1990s technology. For the I-Derby RAFAEL utilized a new, Software Defined Active Radar seeker, based on combat-proven seeker developed by RAFAEL for the Tamir missile, used with the company’s Iron Dome counter Rocket, Artillery and Missile (C-RAM) system.
Using an active radar for target seeking, the missiles enables multi-shot engagement from surface or air-launched platforms. With this sensor and its signal processing algorithms the missile enables look-down/shoot-down capability, and advanced operating modes, adding to the ‘fire and forget’. Further improvements are enabled for the missile’s ECCM capability, tailoring the weapon’s behaviour to the customer’s operational requirements.
The new version retains the same dimensions and maintains the kinematic performance of the original missile, while offering improved capabilities and flexibility to implement new operating modes, rendered by the new seeker.