Thursday, August 13, 2015

F-15 Full Scale Mockup Photo Question (AIM-82)

Scan1206 A excellent question from Leszek has come in concerning my post on "F-15 Full Scale Mockup Photos". The question is was there “any info on what are those 2 small AIM's on front right fuselage station?” I have looked at this photo for over 40 years, saw this mockup many times, and never noticed that there where two missiles on the forward right side of the mock up! Jack Abercrombie and Mark Nankivil both agree that this was probably the notional concept of the proposed AIM-82 short range missile. I hope to have more info in a few days.

Wikipedia has this to say on the AIM-82:

In 1969 the US Air Force was developing the F-15 Eagle fighter. Planned as the ultimate air superiority aircraft, the F-15 was intended to be as perfect as possible in every respect. Rather than rely on the existing AIM-9 Sidewinder, it was decided to develop an entirely new short-range air-to-air missile to equip the aircraft. The AIM-82 was to be an all-aspect missile, capable of locking onto the target from any angle—Sidewinders of this period could only achieve a target lock if fired from almost directly behind the target where the heat of the engines provided a large infrared signature to the missile's seeker head. Infra red guidance would give the missile a fire-and-forget capability, allowing the firing aircraft to break contact as soon as it was launched.

In 1970 a development contract was awarded to General Dynamics, Hughes Aircraft and Philco-Ford. Proposals were submitted later that year, but in that September the AIM-82 was canceled. The main reason was the existence of the United States Navy AIM-95 Agile program, which was developing a new short range air-to-air missile for the F-14 Tomcat. Inter-service rivalry aside, there seemed little point in developing two missiles to perform essentially identical roles, so development on the AIM-95 was authorized. Eventually the AIM-95 was also canceled and the AIM-9 was updated to remain in service—and indeed remains in service to this day.”

Several other drawings with the AIM-82 are here


Paul Martell-Mead said...

I noticed them and posted on SecretProjects Forum back in February :) Top 50 blog award!