21 January 1984

McDonnell Douglas F-15A-17-MC Eagle 76-0086 carrying an LTV ASM-135 anti-satellite missile on a centerline hardpoint. (U.S. Air Force)
McDonnell Douglas F-15A-17-MC Eagle 76-0086 carrying an LTV ASM-135 anti-satellite missile on a centerline hardpoint. (U.S. Air Force)

21 January 1984: Major Ralph B. Filburn, U.S. Air Force, flying a McDonnell Douglas F-15A-17-MC Eagle, serial number 76-0086, successfully launched a Ling-Temco-Vought ASM-135A anti-satellite missile to a point in space.

The ASM-135 was a three-stage guided missile using a solid-fueled Boeing AGM-69 Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) as its first stage and an LTV Aerospace Altair 3 rocket as the second stage. The third stage was the homing vehicle, which used an infrared seeker to intercept the targeted satellite. This was not an explosive warhead. The satellite was destroyed by the kinetic energy of the very high speed impact. The ASM-135 is 18 feet (5.48 meters) long, 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) in diameter and weighs 2,600 pounds (1,180 kilograms).

There were five test launches of the ASM-135, including one in which an orbiting satellite was intercepted and destroyed. The missile was not placed in production, however, and the program was cancelled.

76-0086 was retired 18 May 1995 to The Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona. It was scrapped in 2008.

McDonnell Douglas F-15A-17 Eagle 76-0086 with ASM-135 Anti-Satellite Missile. (U.S. Air Force)

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes

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3 thoughts on “21 January 1984

  1. Hi Bryan! I have an autographed photo of F-15A ASAT Celestial Eagle by Pilot Maj Doug Pearson (via John McKenna) if you’d like me to email it to you.

  2. 76-0086 Was not required in 95. It was flying in the Florida Air Bastion Guard in the early 2000’s. Maybe as late as 2008.

    1. Thank you, Michael. I certainly could be mistaken. Here is my source info from AMARC:

      PCN AAFH0116: 76-0086, c/n 277/A238, Tail Code ED, previously assigned to the 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, arrived at AMARC 18 May 1995. It departed 25 November 2008 to HFV West, Tucson, AZ for scrapping. Disposition: Scrapped.

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