AIM-47 (GAR-9) Falcon

long-range air-to-air missile

   In 1958, Hughes started to develop the AN/ASG-18 fire-control system (FCS) for the forthcoming North American F-108 Rapier long-range Mach 3+ interceptor. The missile component of the system was to be a large derivative of the AIM-4 Falcon missile family, designated GAR-9, which was to have a range of more than 160 km (100 miles). The large radar of the AN/ASG-18 was to provide target illumination for the semi-active radar mid-course guidance. For terminal homing, the GAR-9 was equipped with an infrared seeker. The GAR-9 was powered by a storable liquid-fuel rocket motor, and for some time, a low-yield nuclear W-42 warhead was envisioned, but eventually a conventional HE warhead was used.

AIM-47 rocket for YF-12A

    For improvement of the FCS the flying laboratory bomber Convair B-58 Hustler (factory number 55-665) was used.
    When the F-108 was cancelled in 1959, the USAF looked for a replacement and found the Lockheed А-12 “Blackbird” reconnaissance plane. It was decided to developed an interceptor derivative, designated YF-12A, which would use the AN/ASG-18 FCS and the GAR-9 missile. In 1963 the XGAR-9 prototype missile was redesignated XAIM-47A, and in the same year, flight tests of the YF-12A and the XAIM-47A began. During the test program, several successful long-range intercepts of target drones were performed. In 1966 the planned F-12B production interceptor was cancelled, which also meant the cancellation of the AIM-47A production missile. About 80 XAIM-47A’s had been built, and some of the technology was used by Hughes to develop the AIM-54 Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile for the U.S. Navy.
    An air-to-ground derivative of the AIM-47 was briefly evaluated as the XAGM-76A.

Design Hughes Aircraft Co.
Type AIM-47 (GAR-9) Falcon
Тип long-range air-to-air missile
Tracking system emiactive Radarhoming
First launch 1961
Dimensions & Weight
Lenght, m 3,81 (3,2)
Diameter, m 0,33 (0,335)
Wingspan, m 0,914 (0,838)
Warhead High-explosive or nuclear W-42
Weight, kg 360 (365)
Engine Lockheed storable liquid-fuel rocket
Trust, kgf  
Speed, m/s (Mach) (6)
Launch range, km up to 180 (210)

XAIM-47A Falcon и XAIM-54A Phoenix

References and Credits:

  1. “Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird” / Paul F. Crickmore, Osprey Publishing Ltd, 1986 /
  2. Hughes GAR-9/AIM-47 Falcon / Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles /