General Dynamics AIM-97 Seekbat
In 1972, the USAF initiated a program to develop a high-altitude long-range air-to-air missile to counter the MiG-25 Foxbat interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft. The missile was based on the AGM-78 Standard ARM, and was designated as XAIM-97A Seekbat (sometimes written Seek Bat).
The Seekbat used a larger propulsion unit than the AGM-78, and supplemented the latter's radar seeker with an infrared homing device. The missile had to be locked on the target before launch. The AIM-97 was intended to be effective at altitudes up to 24000 m (80000 ft). Test firings of XAIM-97A prototypes against drones began in late 1972, but the program was short-lived, and was no longer active in early 1976.
The Bomarc would prove to be a poor choice for target drone, due in part to the requirement to operate it in a manner outside its intended operational envelope.
In sustained high altitude flight, the Bomarc would roll onto its back and dive when the engines became oxygen starved. This flight characteristic was previously unknown to program officers. When the Bomarc rolled on its back, the wings shielded the engines, causing the Seekbat to unlock from the target during terminal guidance. Instead, the Seekbat test missile IR seeker would chase the sun once the Bomarc went "cold."
KJ_Lesnick said:Is it true that the F-15's were actually intended to carry the AIM-97 Seekbat to deal with the MiG-25?
How many could it carry?
Graham1973 said:I did some of my own searching online to see if anything more had been posted about it.
Sadly it was a lot of wikipedia mirrors and several odd things that might be worth investigating. Someone on a combat simulator forum had posted a fictional press release about the XAIM-97 being tested as an ASAT weapon in 1974. In the resulting thread (Link the poster stated that he had based it on some information he had 'dug up' about the missile, buit sadly didn't say where they found it. The other was a snippet view of a website that has been deleted and appeared to be claiming that Iran was working on converting Standards into Air-to-Air weapons. The final thing is also the most logical given that the Russians were basing MIG-25s in Egypt, namely that Israel was involved in the program to some extent.
I'd love to confim the ASAT story, but have no idea where to start.
Grey Havoc said:I had thought the initial design for Seekbat had lacked the rear control surfaces, but you could be right.