The guided air-to-ground missile VRVZ-200 will be test-fired from a modernized Orao NJ-22 strike aircraft in the next few weeks. This will enable the aircraft to precision-strike from distances of 8 to 40 km in the dark over the next two decades.
The ministry of Defense thereby confirmed the reporting of Blic about the extension of the lifetime of the Orao planes, along with MiG-29s.
– In the exploitation so far, the Orao planes flew an average of one fourth of the proscribed lifetime of 3,000 hours. The aircraft structure tests have confirmed the possibility of extending the lifetime to 48 years, that is, until 2040 – the Ministry emphasizes, as reported by Blic.
As they say, the modernization entails four new groups of equipment.
– Among other things, the Orao aircraft will have new digital electronic equipment, weapon system and offense and navigation system – the principle of a glass cockpit, an inertial navigation system with a GPS, a digital map device, a video data and flight parameters recording system, a device for active electronic protection and new guided weapons for precision-striking of ground targets – the ministry explains.
All these innovations will increase the capabilities and the efficiency of the famous strike aircraft.
– The aircraft will feature precision navigation in all weather conditions, in both daytime and nighttime, and modern high-precision weapons from the market and locally developed. This will considerably reduce pilot stress and increase the ability of self-protection and survival ability in combat – the ministry points out and adds that the new equipment would considerably reduce aircraft maintenance costs.
The modernization is to be conducted primarily by local researchers and producers, whereas only specialized avionics and equipment would be procured from the foreign market.
– The development and integration of the new avionics system will be realized in new domestic labs. This would also lead to the formation of the research and development experts who might provide services of this type to other clients as well – the ministry says.
The Serbian Armed Forces currently have 33 Orao aircraft, seven of which are two-seat NJ-22 strike aircraft, the model currently being tested for modernization, Blic writes.
What is VRVZ-200 missile?
The most important piece of weaponry of the modernized Orao aircraft will be the guided air-to-ground missile VRVZ-200, with a 40-km range.
– It is equipped with a television or a thermovision head for self-navigation and a link for transferring images from the missile head to the cockpit display, as well as for transferring navigation instructions from the operator to the missile. The equipment for the link between the aircraft and the missile is integrated into a container located below the fuselage – the Ministry of Defense says.