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AIM -54 Phoenix is an air to air missile ultra- long range over 150 kilometers. Developed in conjunction with the AWG -9 radar, was the first missile capable of being used in multiple launches against different targets ( track 24 targets and attack six ).

His main platform is the North American fighter F-14 Tomcat. Exported with the fighters F-14 Tomcat for Iran, With U.S. Navy and the Air Force of Iran as its single operators.

It was initially developed for the naval version of F-111 that was subsequently canceled and the integrated F-14. Was intended to intercept cruise missiles and bombers. Its design was based on the idea that the Soviets could use tactical nuclear weapons against U.S. fleet.

Contentious issues

AIM-54 Phoenix in a F-14 Tomcat

The United States supported the shah's regime Reza Pahlavi. Providing modern weaponry to Iran. This support was so expressive that was released the export of its latest fighter in the epoch, the F-14, with its more advanced systems, the AWG-9 radar and AIM-54 missile. According to the American version, provided the systems had reduced capabilities. As the Iranian version, the reduction was insignificant, just to satisfy the opponents of the sale.

With the Islamic revolution, planes and missiles began to anti-American regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. This represented a serious political administration.

U.S. sources have the following versions: the fighters were not operational for lack of parts or had low availability. The missiles were damaged by American technicians before leaving Iran

The Iranians claim to have heavily used the fighter and the missile in the war against Iraq. They also claim they have obtained an impressive number of wins, 14 with AIM-54, against Iraq, that were using the latter equipped with modern fighter jets provided by Soviet Union.


  • AIM-54A: First version to enter service in 1974 and exported to Iran
  • AIM-54C: Improved version more capable cruise missile, entered service in 1986.
  • AIM-54 ECCM/Sealed: Version with improved electronic counter-measures. Used from 1988.

Iran claims to have developed an equivalent version of the AIM-54C.


  • Primary function: Long-range air-launched air intercept missile
  • Contractor: Hughes Aircraft Company and Raytheon Corporation
  • Unit cost: US$477,131
  • Power Plant: Solid propellant rocket motor built by Hercules
  • Length: 13 ft (4.0 m)
  • Weight: 1,000–1,040 pounds (450–470 kg)
  • Diameter: 15 in (380 mm)
  • Wingspan: 3 ft (910 mm)
  • Range: In excess of 100 nautical miles (120 mi; 190 km)¹
  • Speed: 3,000+ mph (4,680+ km/h)
  • Guidance system: Semi-active and active radar homing
  • Warheads: Proximity fuze, high explosive
  • Warhead weight: 135 pounds (61 kg)
  • Users: USA (U.S. Navy), Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force)
  • Date deployed: 1974
  • Date retired (U.S.): September 30, 2004

See also

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