Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
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 missile will be integrated on F-15C/D/E, F/A-18C/D/E/F, F-16s and F/A-22A. No plans have been released about integration of AIM-9X on the F-35.
No combat related features of the AIM-9X are its reduced ownership costs, reduced maintainability, high availability and affordability. The US Navy and the US Air Force plan to buy 10,080 missiles. AIM-9X foreign military sales could be 5,000 units according to US government sources.
On November 18, 2004, Raytheon was awarded a $158 million contract to exercise an option for more than 550 AIM-9X missiles, 167 captive air training missiles and 170 missile containers. The work is expected to be completed in April 2006. This AIM-9X missiles were distributed as follows: US Air Force (178), the US Navy (93), and the Governments of Poland (178), Denmark (60), South Korea (41), and Switzerland (quantity classified). It represents the first full rate production contract awarded to Raytheon for the AIM-9X program.
Raytheon delivered the 1,000th AIM-9X Sidewinder missile to the US Navy and the US Air Force on March 29, 2005. The Navy and the Air Force have commitments to take delivery of up to 10,142 missiles worth $3 billion including development costs.
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