Close up view on a Python-4 air-to-air missile just fired by an F-5EM

Nice image of a Python-4 air-to-air missile just shot by a Brazilian Air Force F-5 jet.

The Rafael Python-4 is a 4th generation air-to-air missile built by the Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense System. With an all-aspect attack ability and integration with helmet-mounted sight systems of the Israeli Elbit Dash (Display and Sight Helmet), the Python-4 uses a dual band (IR and UV) seeker and is equipped with IRCCM (Infra-Red Electronic Counter-Counter Measure) to reduce the effect of flares released by the target.

The AAM has a warhead of 11 kg, with an active laser proximity fuse (and back-up impact fuse) a range of 15 km and can accelerate to a speed of Mach +3.5.

The FAB (Força Aérea Brasileira) is equipped with about 200 such missiles. The above image is a screenshot, taken from an onboard camera, of Python-4 missile fired on a firing range by a Brazilian F-5EM Tiger II.

Used in the air-superiority role, the Tigers will be gradually withdrawn between 2017 and 2030, and replaced by the SAAB Gripen NG.

Image credit: FAB

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.