Posted by Courtney Howard
TUCSON, Ariz., 10 Dec. 2009. Engineers at Raytheon Company in Tucson, Ariz., demonstrated the ability of the AIM-9X Sidewinder, an advanced infrared-guided, air-to-air missile, to attack surface targets.
During the test on Sept. 23, an AIM-9X fired from a U.S. Air Force F-16C fighter sank a rapidly moving target boat in the Gulf of Mexico, a company official reveals. This test marks the third time an AIM-9X has engaged moving surface targets. A U.S. Air Force F-16 launched an AIM-9X and sank a maneuvering boat in April 2008, and a U.S. Air Force F-15C fired an AIM-9X and destroyed a fast-moving armored personnel carrier in March 2007.
"With a software upgrade, AIM-9X retains its air-to-air capabilities and gains an air-to-surface capability," says Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "AIM-9X now has the potential to take on an additional mission at a very affordable cost."
More than 400 Raytheon employees design and build the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile in three locations: Tucson, Ariz.; Andover, Mass.; and Goleta, Calif.
Other technology firms across the U.S. manufacture components for the AIM-9X. Major suppliers include: Alliant Techsystems, Rocket Center, W.Va.; Atlantic Inertial Systems, Cheshire, Conn.; Axsys Technology, San Diego, Calif.; BAE Container Solutions, Longmont, Colo.; Celestica, Austin, Texas; Cristek Interconnects, Anaheim, Calif.; ENSER, St. Petersburg, Fla.; HR Textron, Valencia, Calif.; Klune Industries, Spanish Forks, Utah; L3 Comm, San Diego, Calif.; L3 KDI Precision Products, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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