I set out on this project with a plan to create the most effective air-to-air missile ever produced, it had to be long range, hard to escape and it HAD to fit in the F-35’s internal weapons bays (I plan on drawing up several F-35 tailored weapons in the future). Here it is.
The missile measures 4 metres long (13.1 feet), by 380mm wide (14.96 inches), identical to the retired AIM-54 utilised on the US’ F-14 Tomcat, however the similarities stop there.
In 1976, the AIM-7F had an operational range of 50km (30 miles), today the AIM-120D (nearly identical airframe) has an operational range of 160km (~100 miles); that is a 220% increase in range due to propulsion advances. Now, in 1974, the AIM-54 had a range of 190km (118 miles), since my missile shares the same dimensions we can assume the range (with the 220% increase) will be at very least, 400km (~250 miles).
Speed will be the same as the Russian R-37, clocking in at mach 6 (6 times the speed of sound). The warhead will weigh 40kg and comprise of high explosive and continuous rod fragmentations. Rear fins are for steering, and fold against the airframe during haul, unfolding after launch.
As for target tracking/detection methods, my missile uses two:
1, 180mm AESA radar, mechanically scanned (In the extreme tip of the nose), will be utilised in active, passive and anti-radiation modes.
3, IRST sensors, IR and UV (Underneath the transparent sapphire window covering the majority of the nose cone)
This allows for tracking of any aircraft in the skies, from small turboprops to heavy stealth fighters.
Manoeuvrability will be more than sufficient, I have done away with thrust vectoring for simplicities sake, and instead added solid fuel thrusters towards the nose (the perforated holes). These will fire small bursts of energy to aid in fast turns needed to intercept agile aircraft.
As previously mentioned, this was designed from the start to be an F-35’s best friend, it will fit in the internal carry JDAM position, and will leave space for one missile on the door (AIM-120, AIM-9X etc.). Taking into account all things, I estimate the missile will cost ~$2.5 million.
Feel free to use in your own creations, I only ask for acknowledgment should you upload.
I encourage anyone and everyone to contact me.
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