To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the V.P. Chkalov State Flight Test Center, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video. Some never-seen footage shows a Su-35S fighter jet shooting an R-37M air-to-air hypersonic missile.
Initially designed in the 1980s as a long-range air-to-air weapon, the Vympel R-37 program was dropped due to budget constraints in 1998. However, in 2006 work resumed on the R-37M, also known as RVV-BD (for Long-Range Air-to-Air Missile), to create a replacement to the R-77 supersonic missile for the current and upcoming fighter jets of the Russian Aerospace Forces. The new variant was reduced, both in weight and length, to fit modern aircraft.
The weapon has a reported maximum range of up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) and can hit a target at an altitude from 15 meters (49 feet) to 25 kilometers (15 miles), at a speed of Mach 6. The Su-35S fighter jet is reportedly capable of carrying up to four R-37Ms. Along with the Su-35S, the MiG-31BM heavy interceptor should eventually include the R-37M in its arsenal. Compatibility tests with the internal weapons bay of a Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet are also planned.
The video also features the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik combat drone operating in tandem with a Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet. Another Su-57 can even be seen flying without a cockpit for testing purposes.