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AIM-97 Seekbat
TypeAir-to-air missile
Place of originUnited States
Production history
ManufacturerGeneral Dynamics
Mass1,300 pounds (590 kg)
Length15 feet (4.6 m)
Diameter13.5 inches (340 mm)
Wingspan42.5 inches (1,080 mm)

EngineAerojet MK 27 dual-thrust solid-fuel rocket
56 miles (90 km)
Flight ceiling80,000 feet (24,000 m)
Maximum speed >Mach 3
Semi-active radar homing (SARH) with terminal infrared homing

The AIM-97 Seekbat or XAIM-97A Seek Bat was a long-range air-to-air missile developed by the United States. It was intended to counter the perceived capabilities of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 and proposed to arm both the F-15 Eagle and 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


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