AIM-9X Block II & Beyond: The New Sidewinder Missiles
January 2/18: Contracts-Engineering Services The Naval Air Systems Command has tapped Raytheon to provide support and engineering services for the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. Valued at $10.2 million, the contract calls for the incorporation of the Block II plus engineering change proposal into 100 AIM-9X missiles that were purchased under Lot 17. Work on the contract will occur in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in September 2020. More than $10.2 million will be obligated to Raytheon at the time of award, which will be allocated from Navy and Air Force missile and weapon procurement funds from fiscal year 2017. The funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
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 – 2018
FY 2011 and Earlier
Background: AIM-9 Sidewinder
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