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AIM-97 Seekbat
Seekbat.jpg
Type Air-to-air missile
Production history
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Specifications
Weight 1,300 pounds (590 kg)
Length 15 feet (4.6 m)
Diameter 13.5 inches (340 mm)

Warhead Blast-fragmentation

Engine Aerojet MK 27 dual-thrust solid-fuel rocket
Wingspan 42.5 inches (1,080 mm)
Operational
range
460 miles (740 km)
Flight ceiling 80,000 feet (24,000 m)
Speed >Mach 3
Guidance
system
Combination of radar and infra-red homing
Launch
platform
Aircraft

The AIM-97 Seekbat is a missile developed by the United States of America.

Overview

In the early to mid 1970s the United States was highly concerned by the perceived capabilities of the MiG-25 Foxbat, an aircraft which was known to be capable of speeds in excess of Mach 3 and which carried long range air-to-air missiles. It was widely claimed that the Foxbat was a new generation "super-fighter", capable of comfortably outclassing any US or allied aircraft. The US initiated the F-15 Eagle program largely in response to this threat. To equip the F-15 the Air Force initiated development of the AIM-82 short range missile and the AIM-97 Seekbat. The former was a dogfighting missile intended as a replacement for the AIM-9 Sidewinder, the latter was to be a new high-altitude long-range missile designed specifically to shoot down the MiG-25 - hence the name Seekbat, the bat referring to the MiG-25's "Foxbat" NATO reporting name.

The Seekbat was based on the AGM-78 Standard ARM. It had a larger propulsion unit, and added an infrared homing device to the radar seeker head. The operating height ranged up to a massive 80,000 feet (24,000 m).

Test firings against drones began in late 1972, but the Seekbat program did not make a great deal of progress and was cancelled in 1976. By this time the Air force became acquainted with the true capabilities of the MiG-25 and that it was an interceptor against high and fast flying aircraft and not a "super-fighter".

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