Advanced US short-range AAMS for the 1970s - AIM-82, AIM-95 Agile, CLAW

Regarding the AIM-82 and Agile, we recognize that these missiles are both addressed to the same requirement. The services have been asked to work together to determine how best to develop a new short range dogfight missile for joint use and report back to OSD this sum mer. An interim missile - for example, Super Sidewinder - is also part of this consideration. I have also set up an ad hoc committee on air -to air missiles with OSD and service representation to look into all the above areas. Their report is due to me in June.
SHORT - RANGE AIR - TO - AIR MISSILES
Mr. Mahon .

Are new short -range air -to -air " dogfight ” missiles re quired for the Navy and the Air Force? Dr. FOSTER. Yes, new short - range missiles are required for the Navy and the Air Force. Analysis of SEA air combat revealed significant deficiencies in the AIM AD Falcon , AIM - 9B Sidewinder, AIM - 7D , and AIM -7E Sparrow missiles. These all had kill ratios of ___. Only the Navy AIM -9D Sidewinder came anywhere near meeting expectations and its kill ratio was ___ As a result of intensive review arising from SEA experience a series of evolutionary improvements was instituted to increase missile reliability and capability against —targets. Also , in response to Secretary Packard's direction in approving DCP No. 15 for the new short-range missile, the Navy and Air Force are examining a further interim step However, all the studies reveal that the Sidewinder growth is limited to the point that a new short-range missile of higher capability than can be provided by Sidewinder is warranted. The Navy Agile and Air Force AIM-82 concepts are geared to meet these needs. The Agile requirements are but both represent advances be yond Past experience has shown that new missiles take 8 to 10 years to develop. We doubt are exceptions to this rule. Thus, we are seriously examining another evolutionary improvement of Side winder to until one of the missiles is available. In order to limit further missile proliferation, we desire that any new missile should be developed for joint use, and are pursuing these ends in our present studies. To provide a cohesive guiding force to this effort, I have set up an Ad Hoc Committee on AAM, chaired by Mr. A. Simon of O.D.D.R. & E. This committee has OSD, Navy, and Air Force membership and will make its report to Secretary Packard this summer.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1971


Development Concept Paper (DCP) 15 is available at NARA:

 
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A more advanced missile for combat air maneuvering, the Agile, is to replace the Sidewinder once development is completed. According to the Navy, the Agile missile is technically sound, but the program is now in developmental firings, and budgetary constraints may cause it to miss the target date for operational use. Competition for the Agile dogfight missile is between Raytheon and Hughes. Other competitors until recently were McDonnell Douglas, Texas Instruments and Philco-Ford. The Navy expects to select a proposal from the two contractors being considered around mid-April.
AWST 26 March 1973
 
The US XAIM-95 programme demonstrated a 55g 118° angle-off attack launch prior to the programme's termination
AIR-TO-GROUND WEAPON AIMING A BRIEF SYNOPSIS TO DATE AND A LOOK TO THE FUTURE
K.L. Edwards
S.J. Lloyd, RAF
J F. Ralph
Sensors & Processing Sector, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency
 
Air Force and Navy are attempting to hammer out a plan for jointly managing development of a short—range. or dogfight. air-to—air missile for both the USAF/McDonnell Douglas F-15 and Navy ”Grumman F-14 fighters. Each has different requirements for such a weapon. Air Force’s repeatedly delayed ZAIM 82A short—range missile probably will be started under a joint systems project office, as the bi—service dogfight missile. But Navy may continue work on an advanced infrared seeker and thrust vector control propulsion scheme originally intended for its dogfight missile (AW&ST Apr. 21. 1969. p. 19), The two services are under pressure to reconcile conflicting dogfight missile requirements and use common technology or weapons.
AWST 19 Jan 1970
 
Look at the FOV behind the two guys on the picture. It's huge. :eek:
That's quite a field of view. Looks like it was quite a bit ahead of its time.
Pretty sure with Talos it was either/or not both. The nukes were beam riders with the conventional Talos being SARH.
If I recall the beam riding was used so they could loft it up and get more range, right?
 
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Any documents showing the reason AIM-95 was killed?
Expensive, AIM-9L thought to be adequate.

Analysis showed such weapons were an equaliser in dogfights (F-5 or MiG-21 with AGILE almost as good as F-15 with AGILE), so money and effort shifted to longer range missile (AMRAAM and the cancelled AAAM) to kill the enemy outside of AGILE-type weapons range. US let Europe play around with ASRAAM. Only once effective BVR weapons were developed and the R-73 revealed did the US switch to AIM-9X development.

Incidentally, ASRAAM shifted from a highly agile TVC design similar to AGILE in concept to a low drag, longer range design to outrange rival short-range missiles, which is clearly in agreement with the US position. Germany dissented, hence the IRIS-T.
 
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Any documents showing the reason AIM-95 was killed?
Expensive, AIM-9L thought to be adequate.

I remember somewhere a long time ago (Back in the 1990s IIRC) that the Soviet missile developers didn't believe that such a capable missile had been cancelled but instead had gone black, apparently this was the impetus that led them to developing the AA-11 Archer.
 
IIRC the Soviets didn't believe that the US had cancelled the Agile but instead made the programme go black. So in response they ended up creating the AA-11 Archer.

I remember somewhere a long time ago (Back in the 1990s IIRC) that the Soviet missile developers didn't believe that such a capable missile had been cancelled but instead had gone black, apparently this was the impetus that led them to developing the AA-11 Archer.

You posted the same thing only a few posts above :)
 
In early to mid 1970s Navy top priority is funding Tomcat procurement. Budget size is fixed. Funding AGILE VTASIII and AWG-10B fir the F-4 at that time would prevent buying enough Tomcats. It would also make the F-4 more capable which reduces the apparent need for Tomcat. Better to stop investing in the F-4 upgrades. Kick the Agile can down the road a bit to when you've got enough Tomcats built.
 
Loosely - Carrier Air Wing
Strictly - (C) Carrier (V) Fixed-Wing* (W) Air Wing

* As alternate to Rotary Wing (Helicopter)
 
+-165deg field of view for AIM-95 Agile? So it could see all but a little bit behind the missile?
I really hope that the AIM-9Y or whatever the replacement for the AIM-9X is going to be called will have a similar field of view. Having a 30deg cone to the rear of the missile as the only blind spot, plus a good HMS, means scary things for LOAL missiles in a dogfight. "He's behind me! Surprise, (expletives deleted)! Fox 2!"

Yes. 5th gen aircraft versus 3rd and 4th gen is going to be a long range fight, but 5gen versus 5gen is going to be much closer ranges. However close you need to be for an IRST lock.
 
I really hope that the AIM-9Y or whatever the replacement for the AIM-9X is going to be called will have a similar field of view. Having a 30deg cone to the rear of the missile as the only blind spot, plus a good HMS, means scary things for LOAL missiles in a dogfight. "He's behind me! Surprise, (expletives deleted)! Fox 2!"

Yes. 5th gen aircraft versus 3rd and 4th gen is going to be a long range fight, but 5gen versus 5gen is going to be much closer ranges. However close you need to be for an IRST lock.
Pretty sure this is already a solved problem via 2 way datalinks talking the missile onto target till it can see.
 
That's an F-4 pilot mad he didn't get the cool stuff.

AGILE + VTAS III and digital AWG-10 would have made the Navy F-4 better than the Tomcat in some ways. Navy preferred to buy Tomcats and leave F-4 behind.
Not a pilot in the slightest. I'm in my 20s. Just an internet weirdo with an unnatural obsession with the late 60s-early 70s navy fighter programs.
 
Why wouldn’t Tomcat have gotten the exact same stuff?
It didn't benefit quite as much from VTAS due to PLM, but if funding were unlimited it would have received VTAS.
The bigger problem was the radar. AWG-9 supposedly had issues tracking maneuvering targets (this was likely related to the analog doppler filtering, to the best of my knowledge), and due to the nature of the design, rebuilding it to digitize it would have been quite a bit trickier and more expensive than doing so was for the 4J/S.
 
It didn't benefit quite as much from VTAS due to PLM, but if funding were unlimited it would have received VTAS.
The bigger problem was the radar. AWG-9 supposedly had issues tracking maneuvering targets (this was likely related to the analog doppler filtering, to the best of my knowledge), and due to the nature of the design, rebuilding it to digitize it would have been quite a bit trickier and more expensive than doing so was for the 4J/S.
Which they did with the AN/APG-71 in the 1980s which apperantly Fixed ALot of the Issues it had with the last marks being on par maintance with the later APG70 of the F15E.
 
Which they did with the AN/APG-71 in the 1980s which apperantly Fixed ALot of the Issues it had with the last marks being on par maintance with the later APG70 of the F15E.
Yes. They absolutely did fix it, but that was much more of a complete redesign using APG-70 as a base rather than AWG-9. It was VERY good, but too late(14D introduction to the fleet was ~1990!). They also only made ~55 of them, leaving the other ~400 base model 14As high and dry. By that point the fleet defense aspect of the 14's mission was completely covered by Aegis anyways.
 
Back to the AIM-95 - here's a report on the Navy NSRAAM captive test unit for AIMEVAL which reused the Hughes seeker from the AIM-95.


s I understand it, the gimbal limits of the AIM-95 seeker design were +- 165 degrees. That's why the entire nose section was transparent rather than just the tip like on other missiles - the seeker can look backwards with only +/-15 deg blindspot caused by the rear part of the missile.

Under the 1976 NSRAAM tests lockon limits of 40 and 70 degrees off boresight lock were simulated to give two different threat profiles.
 

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Back to the AIM-95 - here's a report on the Navy NSRAAM captive test unit for AIMEVAL which reused the Hughes seeker from the AIM-95.

That's a very interesting seeker module. I wonder if that was a con-scan seeker? It also looks like it doesn't use coils as a position reference like on sidewinder.
 
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Dogfight Missile Proposal Request Planned

Washington—Air Force is planning to release a request for proposal to industry for its low-cost, lightweight Claw dogfight missile. The system incorporates conceptual design ideas evolved by the service since air—to—air combat began in Southeast Asia. The Claw concept has been described as a simple weapon that involves a tradeoff approach to determine just how much performance can be obtained from the missile while constraining unit cost. USAF expects to seek funding in Fiscal 1975 to continue the project into full development. In-house service development has been carried out over the past year. “The idea is to provide trades across the board to see what performance we can get from the missile for each increment of cost,” said a USAF official. He added that hardware will be built and flight tested.

Air Force has alerted research and development firms that the service will demonstrate the feasibility of low-cost dogfight missile. It is envisioned that companies selected will design, develop. fabricate and deliver prototype air—to-air missiles to USAF for flight testing. The service expects to receive from the manufacturer 30 Claw missiles for testing as prototypes, cost analysis for the overall program and qualification of the missile for flight tests, as well as a test plan.

USAF’s Armament Development and Test Center, Eglin AFB, Fla, will work jointly on the Claw program with the Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Avionics Laboratory, which is responsible for developing a guidance system for the missile. A seeker described as an offshoot of another program has been pursued by the Avionics Laboratory, and Philco-Ford, Raytheon and General Dynamics have been involved in developing guidance hardware that could be applied to Claw.
AWST 22 October 1973

Pentagon anticipates request for proposals for USAF’S Claw low-cost, lightweight dogfight missile will be issued in January and at least two companies will be involved in development.
AWST 17 December 1973

Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering still is withholding approval of USAF issuance of a request for proposals for development of CLAW, its low-cost, light-weight dogfight missile (AW&ST Dec. 17, 1973, p. 25; Oct. ‘22, 1973, p. 24). The service expects to fabricate 30 prototype CLAW missiles “featuring better maneuverability and shorter minimum range than the Sidewinder [AIM-9L].”

Because of higher costs of the Navy’s Raytheon AIM-9L and the Hughes AIM-95 thrust-vector-controlled Agile dogfight missile, the feasibility of CLAW, costing under $10,000 each and weighing under 80lb., is being investigated. The Fiscal 1975 budget request for CLAW is $3.2 million, and flight tests are anticipated in about two and a half years, Dr. Malcolm R. Currie told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.
AWST 4 March 1974
 
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Back to the AIM-95 - here's a report on the Navy NSRAAM captive test unit for AIMEVAL which reused the Hughes seeker from the AIM-95.


As I understand it, the gimbal limits of the AIM-95 seeker design were +- 165 degrees. That's why the entire nose section was transparent rather than just the tip like on other missiles - the seeker can look backwards with only +/-15 deg blindspot caused by the rear part of the missile.

Under the 1976 NSRAAM tests lockon limits of 40 and 70 degrees off boresight lock were simulated to give two different threat profiles.
Oh, if only we could have gotten the AIM-95 seeker in service... Whether on the AIM95 or on an AIM9.
 
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Yes. They absolutely did fix it, but that was much more of a complete redesign using APG-70 as a base rather than AWG-9. It was VERY good, but too late(14D introduction to the fleet was ~1990!). They also only made ~55 of them, leaving the other ~400 base model 14As high and dry. By that point the fleet defense aspect of the 14's mission was completely covered by Aegis anyways.
How was Aegis going to intercept bombers hundreds of miles away? With the long range SAMs it didn’t have? No, with the fall of the USSR, the fleet air defense mission at least sort of the long range aspect was left to Hornets and AMRAAMs.
 
How was Aegis going to intercept bombers hundreds of miles away? With the long range SAMs it didn’t have? No, with the fall of the USSR, the fleet air defense mission at least sort of the long range aspect was left to Hornets and AMRAAMs.
Intercept the missiles. Which is what the 14 did anyway, because it couldn't cover more than a narrow arc reliably.
View: https://twitter.com/ThrustWR/status/1728588879010181243?t=o8tGAfoXs35gptNnMdAfpQ&s=19


If you want to have this discussion, we could move to a different thread. I don't think this is the place for it.
 
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Intercept the missiles. Which is what the 14 did anyway, because it couldn't cover more than a narrow arc reliably.
View: https://twitter.com/ThrustWR/status/1728588879010181243?t=o8tGAfoXs35gptNnMdAfpQ&s=19


If you want to have this discussion, we could move to a different thread. I don't think this is the place for it.
Ha! You’re the guy from Twitter! Not Zach, the other guy. And no Phoenix wasn’t there to shoot down the arrows but to get the archers.
 

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