This is the AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range, Air-to-Air Missile), also designated AIM-12A. It is used by the U.S. Navy, Air Force as well as allied forces. AMRAAM has a 30- to 40-mile range and reaches Mach 4.
The missile has an all-weather, beyond-visual-range capability and is a follow-on to the AIM-7 Sparrow missile. It is faster, yet smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The pilot is able to aim and fire several AMRAAMs simultaneously at multiple targets and the plane can undergo evasive maneuvers as the missiles guide themselves to their targets. The missile is used on F14D, F/A-18, F-15, F-16, F-4, and Britain's Tornado and Sea Harrier aircraft. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 2003 by the U.S. Air Force.
Transferred from the United States Air Force Museum.