In 1955 the Kaliningrad (Moscow Oblast) Series Production Plant, which was producing gun turrets for M-4 bomber aircraft and similar equipment, began series production of the first K-5 and K-8 guided air-to-air missiles.
The R-55 (K-55, Object 67), a modification of the K-5 missile, was series-produced throughout the 1967-77 period and quite widely used. By then the Almaz team had given up work air-to-air missiles, and the development of the K-55 missile was assigned to the engineering office at the Kaliningrad (Moscow Oblast) Series Production Plant. This plant was producing aircraft weapons (artillery turrets for M-4 bomber aircraft, sights, etc.), then in 1955 began series production of the first K-5 and K-8 guided air-to-air missiles. Developing the K-55 missile was the first task ever assigned to this team alone (and the only one concerning air-to-air missiles in the history of this team). Currently this engineering office in Kaliningrad, under the name Zvezda, is the leading Russian creator of strategic guided air-to-ground missiles.During the 1966-168 period the two teams working on air-to-air missiles were renamed -- Bisnovat's OKB-4 team was renamed Molniya and Andrey Lyapin's (who replaced Ivan Toropov in 1961) team was designated Vympel. During later part of the 1960s the Vympel team began working on modifications to the R-55 which resulted in the R-55M missile, with a cooled homing head, a radio rather than optical closing-in igniter, and a more potent warhead. The PL-1 [Pili = Thunderbolt, or Pen Lung = Air Dragon] medium range air-to-air missile was a Chinese copy of the AA-1.
|Total length||2.83 m|
|Maximum effective range||2 - 6 km|
|Guidance mode||Radio Controlled|
|Single-shot hit probability|
|Carried by||MiG-17PFU, MiG-19P, MiG-21F, Yak-25, Yak-28|