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Magic R.550

The largest single competitor for Sidewinder in Western Europe, the Matra Magic R.550 has better design and performance requirements. It can be fired at any speed (no minimum), meaning that it is a prime candidate for the arming of attack helicopters. Magic is slightly larger in diameter than Sidewinder, but the launch installation components in the carrying aircraft were wisely made interchangeable. The tail fins of the R.550 are free to rotate around the rocket's nozzle, providing of spin-stabilization. The warhead weighs 12.5 kg, and can be delivered at ranges of more than 6.2 miles.


Major operational capabilities :

All-directions missile

Builder :


In-service in the French Air Force :


PropellantSolid propellant

Propulsion time :

2.2 s

Range 8 miles
SpeedMach 2.7 / 500 m/s in addition to carrier’s speed

Length / Diameter :

2.75 m / 0.16 m

Weight196 lbs / 89 kg
Warhead HE blast fragmentation

Payload :

12.5 kg (fragmentation)

Guidanceall-aspect infrared
Fuze radio frequency (RF) proximity

Main user nations :

Greece, Egypt, Spain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates

Possible carrying aircraft :

All French Air Force and Navy fighters

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Updated Saturday, November 13, 1999 5:14:26 PM