AIM-97 Seekbat

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AIM-97 Seekbat
Type Air-to-air missile
Place of origin United States
Production history
Manufacturer General Dynamics
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)
56 miles (90 km)
Flight ceiling 80,000 feet (24,000 m)
Speed >Mach 3
Semi-active radar homing (SARH) with terminal infrared homing

The AIM-97 Seekbat or XAIM-97A Seek Bat was a missile developed by the United States. Intended to counter the perceived capabilities of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 and proposed to arm both the F-15 Eagle & F-4 Phantom,[1] the missile ultimately never entered service.


In the early to mid-1970s the United States was highly concerned by the perceived capabilities of the MiG-25, an aircraft which was known to be capable of speeds in excess of Mach 3 and which carried long range air-to-air missiles.[2] 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.[3]

The Seekbat was based on the AGM-78 Standard ARM. It had a larger[clarification needed] propulsion unit and used semi-active radar homing with an infrared seeker for terminal guidance of the missile.[3] The operational ceiling was 80,000 ft (24,000 m).[2]

Test firings began in late 1972,[a] but the Seekbat program did not make a great deal of progress and was cancelled in 1976.[2] By this time new knowledge of the MiG-25s capabilities and role led to the cancellation of the program because the missile's cost did not justify its procurement.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hewish in his March 1974 article states that the missile had been "...undergoing flight-test for more than a year."[3]