Matra R550 Magic 1

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This page is about the French air-to-air missile Matra R550 Magic 1. For the other version, see Matra R550 Magic 2.

Description

The Matra R550 Magic 1 missile (scale is approximate)


The Matra R550 Magic 1 is a French IR homing air-to-air missile that was intended to replace the AIM-9s in French Army service. It was introduced in update "Starfighters".

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

Missile characteristics
Mass 89 kg
Guidance IR
Aspect Rear-Aspect
Lock range in rear-aspect 5.5 km
Launch range 10 km
Maximum speed 3 M
Maximum overload 35 G
Missile guidance time 25 secs
Explosive mass (TNT eq.) 9.6 kg

The Matra R550 Magic 1 is a very capable missile, with a 35 G maximum overload, which makes it a very deadly missile at top-tier when used correctly. The Matra Magic 1 is also a very light missile, with only two seconds of boost time. The missiles come equipped with large and numerous control surfaces, ensuring high manoeuvrability throughout the flight time. The price of these big control surfaces is a high drag, with the weapon decelerating quickly after the end of boost time, limiting the range of the missiles.

The weapon enable time is 0.5 seconds, meaning the missile will accelerate straight for half a second before starting manoeuvres.

Effective damage

Having a warhead containing 6 kg of HBX explosive (9.6 kg TNT equivalent), it all but guarantees the destruction of enemy vital parts such as engine, tail section, wings, etc. The explosive charge is generally enough to deal with any attacker with a single hit. Still, the proximity fuse is very sensible, and the missile can explode far enough from the target, only provoking a critical hit.

Comparison with analogues

  • R-60 - A soviet short-range IR missile with excellent overload performance but poor booster capability

Usage in battles

The Magic is mounted on the Mirage series of aircraft, being extremely well integrated, and slavable to the aircraft's radar. Meaning that if the Mirage's Cyrano radar is locked on an enemy aircraft, enabling the missile seeker will immediately activate the missile seeker's gimbals, and the seeker will orientate itself in the direction of the locked target. Allowing a certain capability of "off-boresight" shooting of the missile. This fact is important in close-range engagements and dogfights.

Overall, the Matra 550 Magic missile is to be used as a close encounter platform. Firing the weapon on an enemy at a distance of more than 2 km yields poor results, especially if the target is fleeing at high speed. Under the 1.5 km mark, the hit is nearly assured. Note that the use of flares is an effective countermeasure against the Magic. Concerning off-boresight shoots, sending away the weapon over 1-1.2 km is not advised, because the trajectory correction needed for an off-boresight shoot is higher that a standard shoot.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great turning capability
  • Can be slaved onto the radar
  • Can launch in any G condition

Cons:

  • Poor low speed turning capability, easy to dodge if launched close to the target
  • Sensitive to flare decoys

History

Being a direct competitor of the US-made AIM-9s in French service, Matra (now part of Airbus SE) developed a new IR AAM for French jets in 1968, with additional control surfaces for better manoeuvrability in combat; the new missile now known as the R.550 Magic was first tested in January 1972 on a Gloster Meteor-converted testbed and finally made it into service in 1975.

The missile has been exported to many countries operating French jets; China also acquired some examples of it and built a reverse-engineered version known as the PL-7. The more capable Magic 2 was introduced in 1986.

Media

Images
Videos

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the weapon;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

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  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Missiles
USA 
AAM  AIM-54A Phoenix · ATAS (AIM-92)
Sparrow  AIM-7C · AIM-7D · AIM-7E · AIM-7E-2 · AIM-7F · AIM-7M
Sidewinder  AIM-9B · AIM-9C · AIM-9D · AIM-9E · AIM-9G · AIM-9H · AIM-9J · AIM-9L · AIM-9P
AGM  AGM-12B Bullpup · AGM-12C Bullpup · AGM-22 · AGM-65A · AGM-65B · AGM-65D · AGM-114B Hellfire · AGM-114K Hellfire II · BGM-71D TOW-2
ATGM  BGM-71 TOW · BGM-71A TOW · BGM-71B TOW · BGM-71C I-TOW
SAM  FIM-92 Stinger · MIM146
Germany 
AAM  AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder · R-60MK
AGM  AS.34 Kormoran · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · PARS 3 LR
ATGM  HOT-K3S
SAM  Roland
USSR 
AAM  9M39 Igla · R-3R · R-3S · R-13M1 · R-23R · R-23T · R-24R · R-24T · R-27ER · R-27R · R-27T · R-60 · R-60M
AGM  9K127 Vikhr · 9M17M Falanga · 9M120 Ataka · 9M120-1 Ataka
  Kh-23M · Kh-25 · Kh-25ML · Kh-29L · Kh-29T · Kh-66 · S-25L
ATGM  3M7 · 9M14 · 9M113 Konkurs · 9M114 Shturm · 9M123 Khrizantema · 9M133 · 9M133FM3 · 9M133M-2
SAM  9M311 · 9M311-1M · 9M331
Britain 
AAM  Fireflash · Firestreak · Red Top · Skyflash · SRAAM
AGM  ZT-6 Mokopa
ATGM  BAe Swingfire · MILAN · MILAN 2 · ZT3
SAM  Starstreak
Japan 
ATGM  Type 64 MAT · Type 79 Jyu-MAT
SAM  Type 91
China 
AAM  PL-2 · PL-5B · PL-7 · TY-90
AGM  AKD-9 · AKD-10 · Blue Arrow 9 · HJ-8A · HJ-8C · HJ-8E · HJ-8H
ATGM  302 · HJ-73 · HJ-73E · HJ-9
SAM  HN-6
Italy 
AAM  Aspide-1A
AGM  CIRIT · L-UMTAS
SAM  Mistral SATCP
France 
AAM  AA-20 Nord · Matra R511 · Matra R530 · Matra R530E · Matra Super 530D · Matra Super 530F · Matra R550 Magic 1 · Matra R550 Magic 2 · Mistral
AGM  9M14-2 Malyutka-2 · AS-20 Nord · AS-30 Nord · AS-30L Nord · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3
ATGM  HOT · SS.11
SAM  Roland · VT1
Sweden 
AAM  RB24 · RB24J · RB71 · RB 74
AGM  Rb05A · RB 53 Bantam · RB 55B Heli TOW · RB 55C Heli TOW · RB 75
ATGM  Rbs 55 · Rbs 56
SAM  Rbs 70
Israel 
AAM  Shafrir · Shafrir 2
  AAM = Air-to-Air Missile   AGM = Air-to-Ground Missile   ATGM = Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Ground mounts)   SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile