Event Marks Closure of A-Darter Project Development Cycle: System meets technical, operational, logistics, industrial and safety requirements
(Source: Brazilian Air Force; issued Sept. 27, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
An A-Darter air-to-air trials missile fitted to a South African Air Force Gripen C fighter for qualification firings. The A-Darter, jointly developed by Brazil and South Africa, has now been cleared for operational service. (SAAF photo)
A ceremony was held in Brasilia on Sept. 26 to mark the issuance of the Type-Certificate of the A-Darter project, which aimed at the development of a 5th generation infrared short-range air-to-air missile system with technology transfer, certification and industrialization in Brazil.

The Certificate is the official acknowledgment that the system meets the technical, operational, logistical, industrial and safety requirements issued by both the Brazilian Air Force and the South African Air Force, and symbolizes the completion of the project’s development cycle.

The Data Package is the materialization of the knowledge produced throughout the development cycle of the A-Darter project. It is comprised of all technical and management documents developed throughout development, computer programs, and in-flight and laboratory test data.

The Director General of the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), Lt. Brig. Luiz Fernando de Aguiar, who received the Data Package from Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR), spoke about the importance of the project. “This partnership with South Africa in Project A-Darter has achieved all of its goals. The missile will be an important item incorporated into the Brazilian Gripen, and will allow Brazil to absorb technology from this device,” he said.

The General also highlighted the work of the Combat Aircraft Program Coordinating Commission (COPAC) and the South African government. “I am grateful for the professional manner in which the process was conducted by COPAC and, on behalf of the Brazilian Air Force, wish to thank the South African Ministry of Defense for working with us in a fully committed and unrestricted manner,” he said.

During the ceremony, the Institute for Industrial Coordination and Development (IFI), an Air Force department under DCTA, and the Directorate of System Integrity presented the Type Certificate to Denel Dynamics, demonstrating the success of technology cooperation for the project development.


The A-Darter project officially began on October 16, 2006, through the signing of the contract between the Brazilian Air Force and Armaments Corporation of South Africa, with the execution of the Denel Dynamics company.

With the development of this weapon system, both the Brazilian Air Force and the South African Air Force will gain a significant increase in their operational capabilities, increasing their deterrent and combat power.

The A-Darter air-to-air missile system has the ability to autonomously identify a Lock On After Launch (LOAL) target; to engage electronic countermeasures (it is capable of identifying and launching flares); and successful target identification and launch to a 90-degree off-bore position.


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