AIM-9X Block II & Beyond: The New Sidewinder Missiles
May 18/16: The US Navy has disclosed that AIM-9X Block II missiles have a “beyond-visual-range” capability. Announcing the capability was Capt. Jim Stoneman, chief of the US Navy’s Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office at the 2016 Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Plans for a Block III version of the newest member of the Sidewinder family are also in place; the program however, remains unfunded.
Raytheon’s AIM-9X Block II would have made Top Gun a very short movie. It’s the USA’s most advanced short range air-air missile, capable of using its datalink, thrust vectoring maneuverability, and advanced imaging infrared seeker to hit targets behind the launching fighter. Unlike previous AIM-9 models, the AIM-9X can even be used against targets on the ground.
These changes will help keep it competitive against foreign missiles like MBDA UK’s AIM-132 ASRAAM, RAFAEL of Israel’s Python 5, the multinational German-led IRIS-T, and Russia’s R73/ AA-11 Archer. So far, only American fighter types can use AIM-9X missiles, but that hasn’t stopped a slew of export requests and sales, especially in the Middle East.
AIM-9X: The Program
Block II+ Program and Sales
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2015 – 2016
FY 2011 and Earlier
Background: AIM-9 Sidewinder
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)