$8.9M to Help Develop AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II
Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ received an $8.9 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0008) for technical support for the development of a Block II configuration AIM-9X missile. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($2.575 million; 29%) and the U.S. Air Force ($6.343 million; 71%). Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ and is expected to be complete in September 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD is the contracting activity.
The AIM-9X is the latest version of the Sidewinder short-range air-air missile (SRAAM). Upgrades include has improved acquisition range and a higher-performance seeker dome, wide off-boresight capability that creates a bigger ‘targeting cone,’ better counter-countermeasures and background discrimination thanks to its 128 x 128 infrared focal plane array (instead of the AIM-9M’s single element IR detector), and day or night capability. It uses the same motor, warhead, and fuse as the AIM-9M and is of similar size and weight, but has a new airframe design with less drag, thrust vectoring for improved maneuverability, and field reprogrammability. It is comparable to other 4th generation SRAAMs like the Israeli Python 4, British ASRAAM, French MBDA MICA IR, German/European IRIS-T, and Russian R-73 aka. AA-11 Archer (The Israeli Python 5 may be in a class all by itself at the moment, though the ASRAAM shares a number of its unique features).