The Python-4 fourth generation A/A missile, in operational use in the Israeli Air Force , features a novel "no escape volume" performance with a unique aerodynamic configuration for superior agility. The state-of-the-art, high performance seeker incorporates an advanced IRCM & background rejection capabilities. The missile includes a highly effective fragmentation warhead. Python 4 is a very nimble "fire and forget" missile with an improved maneuvering capability. It has an advanced homing head with a lateral "squint" capability which allows it to receive signals from the line of vision of the pilot who sees the enemy plane through a special (Elbit-developed) helmet. The missile receives these signals and hits the enemy plane without requiring the pilot to steer his aircraft at the enemy plane. The Python 4 can be launched at a range of over 15 km, its warhead is over 11 kg, and its electromagnetic proximity fuze is one of the best in the world.
Manufacturer Rafael Armament Development Authority Date Deployed Mid 1980's Range 0.5 km to 15 km Speed Mach 3.5 Propulsion One Rafael Armaments Development Authority double-base solid propellant rocket motor Guidance IR homing Warhead 24.25 lb ( 11 kg ) Launch Weight 264.6 lb ( 120 kg ) Length 9 ft, 10.1 in ( 3.00 m ) Diameter 6.3 in ( 160 mm ) Fin Span 2 ft, 9.9 in ( 0.86 m )