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|Place of origin||United States|
|Weight||1,300 pounds (590 kg)|
|Length||15 feet (4.6 m)|
|Diameter||13.5 inches (340 mm)|
|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)|
|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, 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. 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[clarification needed] propulsion unit and used semi-active radar homing with an infrared seeker for terminal guidance of the missile. The operational ceiling was 80,000 ft (24,000 m).
Test firings began in late 1972,[a] but the Seekbat program did not make a great deal of progress and was cancelled in 1976. 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.
- Hewish in his March 1974 article states that the missile had been "...undergoing flight-test for more than a year."
- Hewish, Mark (1974-03-14). "World Missile Yearbook". Flight International. IPC Transport Press Ltd. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
- Hewish, Mark (1975-05-08). "World Missile Survey". Flight International. IPC Transport Press Ltd. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
- Hewish, Mark (1976-05-29). "World Missiles". Flight International. IPC Transport Press Ltd. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
- Parsch, Andreas (2002). "General Dynamics AIM-97 Seekbat". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
- Thornborough, Anthony M.; Davies, Peter E. (1994). The Phantom Story. Arms & Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-121-2.