Raytheon’s AIM-9X ® Sidewinder air-to-air missile program has marked a milestone of delivering 5,000 missiles to the U.S. government and nine international partners.
“The 400 Raytheon employees and the hundreds of employees who work for our suppliers around the world helped achieve this significant milestone,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air Warfare Systems product line. “The hard work of the industry and government team has resulted in more than 5,000 AIM-9X Block I and II missiles being delivered to the U.S. and allied warfighter.”
The AIM-9X Sidewinder is an infrared-guided, air-to-air missile employing a focal plane array sensor for unparalleled target acquisition and tracking, augmented by jet vane control technology for extreme maneuverability against a variety of high performance threats. The missile also has proven capability in air-to-surface and demonstrated capability in surface-to-air missions.
The AIM-9X Block II adds a redesigned fuze and a digital Ignition Safety Device that enhances ground handling and in-flight safety. The Block II variant also features updated electronics that enable significant enhancements, including lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) capability using a new weapon datalink to support Beyond Visual Range (BVR) engagements.
“The AIM-9X thrust vectoring, high off-bore-sight seeker gimbals limits, and imaging focal planar array make it the world’s premier dogfighting missile,” said Capt. John Martins, U.S. Navy air-to-air missile program manager. “The AIM-9X Block II’s datalink, improved guidance algorithms and LOAL attributes create BVR capabilities against the most advanced threats that are designed to be survivable against radar-guided missile systems.”
Block II is currently on track to complete Operational Testing and is expected to be cleared for employment in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force in early 2014. Block II missile deliveries to international partners are scheduled to begin in 2014. Two current AIM-9X international partners will be the initial recipients.