The AIM-54 Phoenix missile - Technology, History and Performance

Funny but sad how this thread has just become a mostly dead thread with occasional arguments about either unrelated topics or topics that have already been talked to death across this forum and the old, simply because the devs categorically refuse to fix the AIM-54 and everyone’s just given up and accepted the AIM-54C will remain the godawful piece of absolute copy-paste garbage gaijin has modelled it to be.


Perhaps they are waiting for other nations to have their own fox-3. And since USA wants to play with beer, it throws the Phoenix to the right and to the left

“Wants to play with beer”

[Error] Meaning not found.

1 Like

I’d like to point out that in the current state of the game, with broken proximity fuses and the AIM-54 remaining a terrible missile, the AIM-54C is effectively a strict downgrade to the AIM-54A, which is laughable.
The AIM-54C is heavier, both pre and post burn than the 54A, which directly reduces the missiles kinematic performance:


This is despite the fact I know of no sources claiming the AIM-54A is faster than the AIM-54C, and most sources actually stating the opposite in fact.

The 54C also has a strictly worse warhead, with a 4.6124Kg decrease in explosive filler. We now know that this is due to the AIM-54C employing a new WDU-29B warhead which is a directional warhead

This source helpfully provided by someone on a discord server I frequent also points out that the AIM-7M’s WAU
-17/B is ALSO directional, and should receive increased performance over that of the AIM-7F.

Directional warheads offer a 20-30% increase in fragment velocity in the desired direction, which coincides with the claim of 25% higher performance of the WDU-29/B over the old Mk84 warhead on the AIM-54A, but in WT, the AIM-54A has the better warhead.

The ONLY advantage the AIM-54C provides over the AIM-54A in-game is the improved inertialDriftSpeed, which is likely rendered irrelevant by the fact that;

  1. You’re typically firing towards a large clump of enemies anyways in WT due to horrid map design.
  2. Better inertial navigation is only relevant if you stop supporting the missile early on, which is a death sentence for the missile in WT seeing as the massive and extremely obvious contrails the missile produces and its very low speed, likely never exceeding Mach 3 in any in-game launch scenario due to gaijins horrifically bad lofting for the AIM-54 forcing it to at best achieve around 1/3 or maybe half the optimal launch angles described by NASA:


prevent the missile from threatening any opponent paying even a little bit of attention, making the launch and leave aspect of the missile pointless as for a target to be hit, theyd need to be borderline AFK anyways, in which case an improved inertial drift will likely have no impact on increasing the missiles ability to find the target.

Not only is the AIM-54C brutally crippled by gaijins abject refusal to give it a low smoke motor, proper maneuverability, correct lofting, and both low altitude and dogfighting performance, but its also just strictly worse than the missile it replaced. There is no real reason in WT to run the AIM-54C over the AIM-54A.


It’s actually the drag being too high, should be able to do mach 5+ much more easily than it does.


@Gunjob not too sure who the dev is thats in charge for missiles fm’s but I’ve thought about this a few times and kept forgetting to ask it.

I remember hearing the issue with giving stuff like the AIM-54 more aggressive lofting was the it “missed targets” a lot when lofting more.

Wouldnt an easy solution for this just be to give the AIM-54 time to target dependent lofting (ie: trajectory shaping).

From most SARH’s, we know its possible to make ttt dependent gain functions to mitigate energy loss while retaining close in maneuverability, and from the R-73 we know PID controller values can be modified via time in flight (though that one seems more like a shit show the the timetogain functions on SARH’s) so idk why lofting/trajectory shaping isnt being done in a similar way? This would allow the missile to follow its optimal angle of attack for maximizing top speed and energy retention while still minimizing loft near impact, and would more closely resemble actual trajectory shaping.

Atm, lofting seems more like some really jank bootleg trajectory shaping in-game that was only made for ground and poorly adapted for air combat because there’s only 2 missile that use it…

I mean no offence to whoever coded it this way btw, I’m just a bit curious why a seemingly obvious solution was never implemented.


I mean sure, but that’s a developer decision.

Yeah, I was more asking if it was possible to ask if this was considered/attempted? I know coding is difficult and its easy to miss seemingly obvious solutions, since everyone codes a bit differently. Seeing as I dont know which dev to ask (or if they even spe4ak english) i figured I should ask you in the event you would know who to ask

I wouldn’t know, we don’t really get eyes on the internal development process, just things that come via reports.

Ah alright. If I put it in as a suggestion/bug report(ish) in the bug report site, would that help/work?

Sure go for it. :)

1 Like

Are there any explanations for the proxy fuze of the aim-54?
I know there are documents that say “kill range 15” but that’s not necessarily the trigger distance I would assume it’s much more, but I haven’t seen any literature that talks about it yet

Wdym? Like how the proxy fuze on the AIM-54C works with the directional warhead?

When the tws bug will be fixed until fox3 missiles will come?, i was playing and the tws are locking in the wrong target, when i change the soft lock to hard lock it was lock in the wrong target in the entire time, which affects the hit chance. And to hit with the Phoenix you need choose wisely your targets.
I think the Phoenix is not tracking is because of a bug in the launch

1 Like

It only impacts the F-14’s negatively at the moment, so its probs not getting fixed until it starts impacting other planes, thats if it gets fixed at all.

1 Like

There is a lot of people saying the fox3 missiles is coming to the game, lets belive in the dev they will fix.
The Phoenix can be used in the game but now its too much impredictiable to use, sometimes hit hard targets in hard situations, sometimes miss easy targets.
A lot of times i was able to beat a mig 29 guy with r27er, which is suppose the best bvr missile in game, with aim54 Phoenix doing crank and guide the missile until the last seconds until r27er could hit me, i go away for other direction and the Phoenix goes Pitbull and hit it and i evade. But there is some weird situations that aim54 does not track by tws

AIM-54 lock angle / gimbal limit extended to 60 degrees


That’s positive

Does the aim54C will get the less smoke engine, thrust and burn changes?

Not yet