AIM-54C Phoenix

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The AIM-54C Phoenix is an American active radar-homing missile, improving on the previous AIM-54A. It was introduced in Update "La Royale".

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

Missile characteristics
Mass 463 kg
Guidance ARH+IOG+DL
Signal CW
Lock range 16 km
Launch range 150 km
Maximum speed 4.3 M
Maximum overload 17 G
Missile guidance time 160 secs
Explosive mass 54.64 kg TNTeq

Effective damage

The AIM-54 is equipped with a 54 kg TNT warhead, capable of destroying targets with a wide proximity fuse.

Comparison with analogues

Compared to its predecessor, the AIM-54A, the AIM-54C introduces a slightly better seeker head to improve proportional navigation when not actively guiding the missile; however, it comes at the cost of being slightly heavier, reducing its manoeuvrability slightly, and prone to bleeding more energy. Otherwise, the AIM-54C is very similar.

Compared to other radar missiles in the game, the AIM-54C, when used correctly can beat any other radar missile in terms of range. Being an active radar homing missile is also another huge advantage, not needing to guide it fully. AIM-7F/Ms and R-27ERs can out-accelerate and are more manoeuvrable than the AIM-54C, making closer range engagements tricky if you only have AIM-54s.

Usage in battles

Along with the AIM-54A, the AIM-54C is best used at altitude and at very far ranges, as it takes a while to accelerate and get up to speed, and can be out accelerated by AIM-7Fs and R-27Rs and R-27ERs. It is best to be high and fast when using the AIM-54C to increase the chance of a connection. With the F-14B being the only carrier of the AIM-54C, taking up to 2 AIM-54Cs is ideal, saving room for AIM-7Ms for the closer range engagements. Taking more than 2, or even carrying only 6 Phoenixes is not recommended as the slightly increased weight of the AIM-54C weighs the aircraft down heavily despite the F-14B's better flight performance. Using and launching 6 AIM-54Cs a few minutes after take-off is heavily disregarded as you will be wasting your radar missiles, even if there's a slight chance of hitting an enemy.

Track While Scan (TWS) mode is heavily recommended as it does not alert the enemy of you locking them, and it gives you the opportunity to see what targets to pick and choose to launch the AIM-54C at. The AIM-54C does not require a hard lock and can be launched in TWS mode, and at multiple targets at once. TWS will give updated positions of enemy aircraft as the AIM-54C guides its way toward the enemy. The AIM-54C can track the enemy without TWS updates, especially with the improved proportional navigation system it has, though most likely there's a chance that it will miss the enemy still.

The ideal altitude to best use the AIM-54C is between 5-11 km (16,000-36,000 ft) along with having a very high speed. Mach 0.9 is ideal, or even breaking past Mach 1, having the missile at speed and ready for launch in the less dense air. The ideal range is no more than 50 km (~31 miles), and no less than 20 km (~12 miles). Beyond 50 km is possible, though only in the right conditions, and using the AIM-54C below 20 km is not ideal, with the AIM-7M being superior below 20 km.

Pros and cons


  • Active Radar Homing seeker head, fire and forget is possible
  • Similar to the AIM-54A Phoenix, has the most range out of any other radar missile
  • Fast velocity at high altitudes after launch
  • Can be used in Track While Scan (TWS) mode, doesn't warn the enemy until the seeker goes active
  • Large warhead, can damage enemies even if it slightly misses its target
  • Slightly improved seeker head, reducing drift slightly when not actively guiding it


  • Has maximum overload of 17G, can be dodged by aware enemies
  • Slightly heavier than its predecessor
  • Slow acceleration
  • Heavy and large missile
  • Chance of hitting friendly teammates if the missile has gone pitbull
  • Can lose lock after launch if the TWS lock is gone
  • Due to the long burn time (30 seconds) and big engine, its motor smoke trail is thick and is visible for a long time, making it easy to spot


Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of the weapon in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the weapon and adding a block "/History" (example: and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the weapon;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

AAM  AIM-54A Phoenix · AIM-54C Phoenix · ATAS (AIM-92) · AIM-120A · AIM-120B
Sparrow  AIM-7C · AIM-7D · AIM-7E · AIM-7E-2 · AIM-7F · AIM-7M
Sidewinder  AIM-9B · AIM-9C · AIM-9D · AIM-9E · AIM-9G · AIM-9H · AIM-9J · AIM-9L · AIM-9M · AIM-9P
AGM  AGM-22 · APKWS II (M151) · APKWS II (M282) · BGM-71D TOW-2
Bullpup  AGM-12B Bullpup · AGM-12C Bullpup
Hellfire  AGM-114B Hellfire · AGM-114K Hellfire II
Maverick  AGM-65A · AGM-65B · AGM-65D
TOW  BGM-71 · BGM-71A · BGM-71B · BGM-71C
SAM  FIM-92 Stinger · MIM-72 · MIM146
Naval SAM  RIM-24A
AAM  AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder · Flz Lwf 63/80
AGM  9M14M Malyutka · Flz Lwf LB 82 · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · PARS 3 LR
AShM  AS.34 Kormoran
SAM  Roland
Naval SAM  Strela-2M
AAM  9M39 Igla · R-3R · R-3S · R-13M1 · R-23R · R-23T · R-24R · R-24T · R-27ER(1) · R-27ET(1) · R-27R(1) · R-27T(1) · R-60 · R-60M · R-60MK · R-73(E) · R-77
AGM  9K127 Vikhr · 9M17M Falanga · 9M120 Ataka · 9M120-1 Ataka
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ATGM  3M7 · 9M14 · 9M113 Konkurs · 9M114 Shturm · 9M123 Khrizantema · 9M133 · 9M133FM3 · 9M133M-2
SAM  95Ya6 · 9M311 · 9M311-1M · 9M331 · 9M37M
Naval SAM  Volna-M
AAM  Fireflash · Firestreak · Red Top · Skyflash · Skyflash SuperTEMP · SRAAM · R-Darter
AGM  AS.12 · ZT-6 Mokopa
AShM  AJ.168
ATGM  BAe Swingfire · MILAN · MILAN 2 · ZT3
SAM  Starstreak
AAM  AAM-3 · AAM-4
AGM  Ki-148 I-Go Model 1B
ATGM  Type 64 MAT · Type 79 Jyu-MAT
SAM  Type 81 SAM-1C · Type 91
AAM  PL-2 · PL-5B · PL-5C · PL-7 · PL-8 · TY-90 · PL-12
AGM  AKD-9 · AKD-10 · HJ-8A · HJ-8C · HJ-8E · HJ-8H
ATGM  302 · HJ-73 · HJ-73E · HJ-9 · QN201DD · QN502CDD
AAM  Aspide-1A
Naval AShM  Nettuno
SAM  Mistral SATCP
AAM  AA-20 Nord · Matra R511 · Matra R530 · Matra R530E · Matra Super 530D · Matra Super 530F · Matra R550 Magic 1 · Matra R550 Magic 2 · Mistral · MICA-EM
AGM  9M14-2 Malyutka-2 · AS-20 Nord · AS-30 Nord · AS-30L Nord · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · Spike ER
SAM  Roland · VT1
AAM  RB24 · RB24J · RB71 · RB 74 · RB 74(M) · RB 99
AGM  Rb05A · RB 53 Bantam · RB 55B Heli TOW · RB 55C Heli TOW · RB 75
ATGM  Rbs 55 · Rbs 56
SAM  Rbs 70
AAM  Shafrir · Shafrir 2 · Python 3 · Derby
ATGM  Spike-LR2 · Spike-MR
  AAM = Air-to-Air Missile   AGM = Air-to-Ground Missile   AShM = Anti-Ship Missile   ATGM = Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Ground mounts)   SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile