Welcome to the Scale Python (ASRAAM) Gallery on TRF.
This gallery showcases the Python (ASRAAM) and those rockets derived from it. Particularly appropriate in this thread are the following:
Estes: Python 4 ASRAAM: #1245
Estes: Python 4 ASRAAM: #2054
as well as any upscales, downscales, clones, kitbashes or other derivative works. Even Goonies qualify!
In the 1950s, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) submitted requirements for a domestically-made air-to-air missile, to promote domestic defense industry and reduce reliance on imports. Rafael Armament Development Authority was contracted to develop the Shafrir in 1959. The missile entered operational status with Israeli Mirage jets in 1963, but the IAF was unhappy with its performance. Soon, the improved Shafrir 2 was made, and it proved to be one of the most successful, and deadly missiles ever made. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the IAF launched 176 Shafrir 2 missiles, destroying 89 enemy aircraft. The Shafrir 2 was exported along with Israeli-made aircraft to South American countries.
After the Shafrir 2, the new missiles made by Rafael were given the western name of Python. This is why the next missile built by Rafael in early 1970s was named Python-3, but there is no Python-1 or Python-2 (they were Shafrir 1, Shafrir 2). The Python-3 has improved range and all-aspect attack ability, it proved itself before and during the 1982 Lebanon War, destroying 35 enemy aircraft. The People's Republic of China was impressed with its performance and license-built the Python-3 as the PL-8 AAM.
Further improvements on the Python-3 lead to the development of Python-4 in mid-1980s. The Python-4 had limited "fire-and-forget" ability, and helmet-sight guidance. In the 1990s Rafael started development on the Python-5 AAM, which was equipped with an advanced electro-optical imaging seeker with lock-on after-launch ability. The new missile was show-cased in 2003 Paris Air Show, and intended for service with IAF the F-15I Ra'am ("Thunder") and the F-16I Sufa ("Storm").
The Python-5 is said to have full sphere launch ability or is an all-aspect missile, meaning it can be launched at a target regardless of the target's location relative to the direction of the launching aircraft. It can lock on to targets after launch, even when they are up to 100 degrees off boresight.