The AA-2 Atoll was a Russian reverse-engineered clone of the AIM-9B Sidewinder. There are some sources that indicate, with varying degrees of veracity, that it was a good enough clone that the two could be used with the other side's aircraft (i.e. early MiGs launching Sidewinders and Western aircraft of that era launching Atolls).
However, the Russians have developed other short-range AAMs since then (Aphid, Archer), and the US has evolved the Sidewinder quite significantly from its humble roots as well. In addition, other Western IR AAMs have been developed as well (such as the Israeli Python family). This, along with the presence of mixed coalitions and even mixed air forces such as Malaysia's in this modern age, has me wondering: whose IR AAMs can be launched from whose planes?
- Are current Russian jets (such as Flankers and Fulcrums) backwards compatible to the AA-2's electrical interface? (Bonus points if they can actually launch the AA-2 still.)
- How backwards compatible are current Western jets (on external stores stations) to early Sidewinders, electrically speaking? (I know that some early Sidewinders required a cryobottle in the launch rail, we can ignore that for now.)
- How forwards compatible are current Sidewinders to early Western jets? (i.e. could you launch an AIM-9M or an AIM-9X in analog mode off of an F-5 or A-4?)
- Are other Western AAMs (such as the Israeli Python) compatible with the Sidewinder electrical interface? (i.e. can a US F-16 hang a pair of Python-4 missiles off its wingtips and have them work "out of the box"?)
- Last, and most of all, could you launch a modern Sidewinder (AIM-9L/M/P or AIM-9X in analog mode) from a Russian/Soviet jet (of any era, bonus points if it's one of the modern ones though), or have the interfaces diverged enough over the years to make that impossible? Do the Malaysians need two stocks of IR-guided AAMs at all times, or could they get by on Sidewinders if they ran out of Archers or vice versa?