MATRA R530 AIR-TO-AIR MISSILE

Development of the Matra R.530 radar-guided all-weather air-to-air missile commenced in France during 1957.  The semi-active radar homing missile was planned to be the sole air-to-air armament for the Mirage but the need for cannons was also identified.  The Matra R.530 missile entered French service in 1962.  The missile had a cruciform structure with fixed wings and moving tail controls and was powered by a two-stage solid-propellant motor.

 Between 1966 and 1969, the South African Air Force received 200 Matra R-530 EM (Electro Magnetic) missiles with the numbers Z-7001 to Z-7200.  In 1972, France recalled thirty of these missiles which were replaced in 1978 with thirty upgraded R-530 FZ missiles with the numbers FZ-7501 to FZ-7530.  The two types of missile homing heads can be interchanged to suit circumstances.  The first type of homing head was the SAT AD.3501 infra-red seeker with an all-aspect capability including head-on and the second type homing head was the EMD AD,26 that matched to the Cyrano IV radar of the Mirage F1CZ.  Two missiles could be carried by the Mirage F1CZ on under-wing stations while the Mirage IIIEZ could only carry one under the fuselage.  Due to the Mirage F1AZ not having a radar, these missiles could not be carried on this aircraft.

The missile is propelled by a two-stage, solid propellant, and Hotchkiss Brandt motor producing 8500 kg of static thrust.  Either of two types of warhead weighing 27 kg can be fitted.  The infra-red homing device can intercept from any aspect, being attracted by the heat from the jet engine and its exhaust when attacking from the rear or local airframe hotspots generated by aerodynamic heating when attacking from the front.

Production of the missile ceased in 1980 when deliveries amounted to at least 2 400 missiles of which 45% are stated to have been exported to 12 countries including South Africa.  This missile was withdrawn from SAAF service together with the Mirage F1CZ.

Country of origin: France
Manufactured as:  Matra R530 EM (Electro-magnetic)
Role:  Medium range interception
Maximum range:  18km
Maximum Speed:  Mach 2.7
Warhead: 30 kg pre-fragmented
Length: 328 cm, diameter 26 cm and wingspan 110 cm
Weight 195kg