Raytheon Company wins $434 million contract modification for AIM-9X tactical missiles
Raytheon AIM-9X tactical missiles

Raytheon Wins $35 Million Order for AIM-9X Block II Missiles

Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $34,749,670 modification (P00011) to previously-awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm contract N00019-18-C-1068. This modification provides for the production and delivery of 58 additional Lot 20 AIM-9X Block II all up round tactical missiles (29 for the Navy and 29 for the Air Force); an additional 61 Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (one for the Navy and 60 for the Air Force); an additional 35 all up round containers (12 for the Navy and 23 for the Air Force); and one lot of spares assets for the governments of Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Turkey and Poland.

The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile also known as the AIM-9X-2 is a triple-threat missile that can be used for air-to-air engagements, surface-attack and surface-launch missions without modifications. A U.S. Navy-led, joint program with the U.S. Air Force, the AIM-9X Sidewinder also has 24 Foreign Military Sales partners. The advanced infrared-tracking, short-range missile is combat proven in several theaters around the world. The AIM-9X Block II missile adds a redesigned fuze and a digital ignition safety device to improve handling and in-flight safety. It’s equipped with updated electronics, including a lock-on-after-launch capability using a new weapon datalink to support beyond visual range engagements.

F-35A Lightning II test aircraft assigned to the 31st Test Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base, California, released AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X missiles at QF-16 targets during a live-fire test over an Air Force range in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo by Master Sgt. Michael Jackson)

Testing work on the AIM-9X Block II version began in September 2008. The Block II adds Lock-on After Launch capability with a datalink, so the missile can be launched first and then directed to its target afterwards by an aircraft with the proper equipment for 360 degree engagements, such as the F-35 and F-22. By January 2013, the AIM-9X Block II was about halfway through its operational testing and performing better than expected. NAVAIR reported that the missile was exceeding performance requirements in all areas, including lock-on after launch (LOAL). As of June 2013, Raytheon has delivered 5,000 AIM-9X missiles to the armed services.

In February 2015, the U.S. Army successfully launched an AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder from the new Multi-Mission Launcher (MML), a truck-mounted missile launch container that can hold 15 of the missiles. The MML is part of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept (IFPC Inc. 2-I) to protect ground forces against cruise missile and unmanned aerial vehicle threats. The X-model Block II Sidewinder has been determined by the Army to be the best solution to CM and UAV threats because of its passive IIR seeker. The MML will complement the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger air defense system and is expected to begin fielding in 2019.