Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to build lot-18 AIM-9X block II air-to-air missiles.
The order includes AIM-9X block II all-up round missiles, as well as captive air training missile guidance units, tail caps and containers, and spares for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, as well as for the governments of South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Norway, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, Belgium, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Singapore, and Denmark.
The AIM-9X is an infrared heat-seeking missile that equips most jet fighters, fighter-bombers, and other offensive combat aircraft in the U.S. arsenal, and is for shooting down enemy aircraft close-by. The AIM-9X works by homing in on an enemy aircraft's hot engine exhaust.
The block II version of the AIM-9X adds lock-on after launch capability with a datalink, so F-35 and F-22 pilots can launch the missile first and then direct the weapon to its target afterwards. Variants of the AIM-9 Sidewinder have been deployed since the 1950s.
The AIM-9X is among the latest versions of the AIM-9 missile family. It entered service in 2003 on the Navy F/A-18C Hornet fighter-bomber and on the U.S. Air Force F-15C jet fighter. It has an imaging infrared focal plane array seeker with 90-degree off-boresight capability for accuracy.
The missile is compatible with helmet-mounted displays such as the U.S. Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, and features 3-D thrust-vectoring control for increased turn capability. The AIM-9X also includes an internal cooling system.
On this order Raytheon will do the work in Tucson, Ariz.; Andover and Amesbury, Mass.; Santa Clarita, Valencia, Anaheim, Goleta, Chatsworth, San Diego, San Jose, El Cajon, and Claremont, Calif.; Ottawa; Sumner, Wash.; Hillsboro, Ore.; Cincinnati; Cheshire and Simsbury, Conn.; Keyser, W. Va.; Ontario, Canada; Heilbronn, Germany; Anniston, Ala.; and in other locations in the U.S., and should be finished by March 2021.
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