It has an active radarhoming seeker and alike the R-27 medium-range missile it is guided to a certain point with the help of a data link. But then it uses an onboard radar to illuminate the target and steers towards it. Similar to the AIM-120 AMRAAM it gives the pilot a certain “fire and forget” capability. One more interesting detail is that it’s NATO unofficial designation is “AMRAAMski”. Missile has a range of fire in 0.5 – 150 kilometers.
The R-77 became a base for the R-77E featuring extended range and even more improved R-77M. The last mentioned is completed with a different engine and has a greater weight. Relying on official sources the R-77 has a range of fire in 200 kilometers. This missile is expected to be in service not earlier than 2007.
Recently besides Russian air forces the R-77 missile were exported and are operational in India, Malaysia and Peru.
Source: Enemy Forces