Unfortunately this question is prompted by missile performance in a community mod for DCS, where an Israeli Python-5 is depicted as missing its target, completing a vertical loop, then re-engaging and hitting the target. The idea is really unbelievable to me, but I haven't kept up with modern air-to-air missile technology. Is anyone claiming to possess missiles with re-attack or re-engagement capability?

I haven't found anything by Googling for "can air to air missiles re-attack" or "can air to air missiles re-engage". I've seen claims that the Python 5 can engage "any target at any angle, including backwards launch" and I could see how a Lock On After Launch capability could be evolved into a Re-Attack capability, but they're clearly distinct.

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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't seem to be about aviation, rather weapon technology. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Aug 2, 2021 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ @mins so are existing questions with upvotes and answers, like Can anti-radiation missiles be used to target stealth fighter aircraft?. This is a question about military aviation. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Aug 2, 2021 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ Almost all homing weapon will try to engage something, and sometimes does engage something, after losing its original target. $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2021 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @user3528438 do I need to clarify that I mean re-attacking the same target? I mention the Python 5 looping around, but I could emphasize it more $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Aug 3, 2021 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ @use3528438, "Almost all homing weapon will try to engage something" This is not true. I cannot say with certainty that NO current AAM can do this, but the AIM-7 Sparrow, and the AIM-9 Sidewinder, and all Soviet AAMs when I was on active duty, absolutely cannot do this. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2021 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Yes... there are two missiles air to air (Python 4/5) that could "re-engaging" its bandits!

The following diagram is reproduced from "Air Power Australia" by Dr. Carlo Kopp. ausairpower.net/TE-Gen-4-AAM-97.htmlExample Python 4 Engagement Geometry - Launch Aircraft (F-18) is passing nearly abeam (labeled ">60 degree off-boresight angle" a High-G Manoeuvering Target (Su-27) and launches a Python 4 AAM.  The missile turns hard into the target, which is in a 9G Sustained Turn, and misses its First Hit Opportunity, but continues its turn and intercepts at a Second Hit Opportunity.

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    $\begingroup$ interesting! what's the source for that diagram? $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Jan 15, 2022 at 9:09
  • $\begingroup$ From the famous "Air Power Australia" by Dr. Carlo Kopp... ausairpower.net/TE-Gen-4-AAM-97.html $\endgroup$
    – Manuel
    Jan 16, 2022 at 4:08

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