AIM-9X Block II & Beyond: The New Sidewinder Missiles
March 5/17: ATK Tactical Propulsion and Control has been contracted by the USAF to produce SR-116 motors for the AIM-9P Sidewinder missile. The $67 million deal supports planned foreign military sales to Bahrain, Egypt and Taiwan and work is expected to be completed by February 27, 2022. In addition, Sidewinder munitions were recently approved by State Department officials to be sold to South Korea.
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 – 2017
FY 2011 and Earlier
Background: AIM-9 Sidewinder
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