AIM-9X Block II & Beyond: The New Sidewinder Missiles
March 9/18: FMS Approval The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has received the US State Department’s blessing for the procurement of Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. A statement released by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) listed the package to include 300 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles, 40 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs), 30 AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical guidance units, 15 AIM-9X-2 CATM guidance units, containers, spares, support equipment and missile support, US Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support, and other associated support equipment and services. The total value is expected to be $270.4 million. Raytheon will act as the lead contractor.
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
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)