Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: AIM-9X Agile and AIM-9X Block II
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The AIM-9 missile is a supersonic, heat-guided, air-to-air missile carried by most western fighter aircraft. It was introduced in 1956 (AIM-9B). This missile is used for self-defense purposes in close range combat situation, less than 20 kilometers, also known as dogfight. Once the AIM-9 has been launched its seeker follows the heat signature of the enemy's aircraft engines. Current AIM-9 blast fragmentation warhead detonates by proximity. The AIM-9 missiles have been delivered to more than 40 countries.
The AIM-9X missile is the next generation Sidewinder. AIM-9X will provide US and allied nations fighters with the following capabilities: full day/night employment, resistance to countermeasures, extremely high off-boresight acquisition and launch envelopes, enhanced maneuverability and improved target acquisition ranges. One of the main breakthrough of the AIM-9X missile is a thrust vector controlled airframe. AIM-9X carries a contact fuze device and a new IR seeker that will enable, through the JHMCS, high off-boresight engagements. Its digital design architecture will ensure future growth capability.
The AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder, also known as the AIM-9X Block II, is the next generation of the AIM-9X missile adding a lock-on-after-launch capability, redesigned fuze and a one-way forward-quarter datalink capability to the AIM-9X Block I air-to-air missile. The US Navy conducted the first test launch of an AIM-9X-2 missile in November 2008. The newest Sidewinder variant is expected to go into production in late 2010 or early 2011.
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