The AIM-54 Phoenix is an American radar-guided, long-range air-to-air missile (AAM), carried in clusters of up to six missiles on the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, its only operational launch platform.
The Phoenix was the United States' only long-range air-to-air missile. The combination of Phoenix missile and the Tomcat's AN/AWG-9 guidance radar meant that it was the first aerial weapons system that could simultaneously engage multiple targets. Due to its active radar tracking, the brevity code "Fox Three" was used when firing the AIM-54.
Both the missile and the aircraft were used by Iran and the United States Navy. In US service both are now retired, the AIM-54 Phoenix in 2004 and the F-14 in 2006. They were replaced by the shorter-range AIM-120 AMRAAM, employed on the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet—in its AIM-120D version, the latest version of the AMRAAM just matches the Phoenix's maximum range.
The AIM-54 has been used in 62 air-to-air strikes, all by Iran during the eigh