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TeaAndScones

Falcon Missile Family

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Its widely accepted that that the AIM-4, AIM-26, and AIM-47 all belong to the same family of missiles. (Falcon.) However, could the AIM-54 Phoenix be considered a part of this family, as both the AIM-47 and AIM-54 were designed to shoot down bombers at long range, the overall profile of the missiles are relatively similar, and Hughes both played a part in their development. (Though Raytheon played the greater part of development for the Phoenix.)

 

Any thoughts welcome.

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While the AIM-54 clearly shares the aerodynamic shape/layout of the Falcon family, it is in an entirely different size/weight class. No aircraft that was designed to carry Falcons could squeeze an AIM-54 in its place. But the F/A-18E/F is still considered a "Hornet" despite being almost an entirely new aircraft that retained the shape of a Hornet to bypass some budgetary red tape/development costs. So it is a personal opinion kind of thing. Certainly, any history of the Phoenix could/would/should mention the Falcon family it came from. Likewise, any history of the Falcon would be incomplete without mentioning its ultimate evolution into the Phoenix.

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The Phoenix is most definitely part of the Falcon family. It is a direct descendant of the AIM-47, originally developed as the GAR-9 for the Air Forces' Long Range Interceptor project, theF-108 Rapier. When the Rapier was cancelled, the AIM-47 continued development for use on the F-12A (the precursor to the SR-71), when this project was cancelled in turn the AIM-47 and its radar, the AN/ASG-18 were further developed into the AIM-54 Phoenix/AWG-9 Radar combination, first for the Navys' cancelled F-111B project, and finally for the F-14 Tomcat. As you can see, the Phoenix was well named, having survived several cancellations. :biggrin: Take a look at these pictures:

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