AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles
AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles

US State Department Clears Sale of AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles to Philippine Air Force

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the Philippines of AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $42.4 million. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner that continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South East Asia.

The Government of the Philippines has requested to buy twenty-four (24) AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles; twenty-four (24) AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); six (6) Tactical Guidance Units; and ten (10) Captive Air Training Missile (CATM) Guidance Units. Also included are containers, support test equipment, spare repair parts, training equipment, publications data, software delivery, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

Members of the Eglin AFB 96 Maintenance Group Weapons Standardization team prepare the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile that will be used during a live fire test at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Apr. 23, 2019. The AIM-9X is the most advanced infrared-tracking, short-range, air-to-air and surface-to-air missile in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Raven)

The Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9X Block II Sidewinder is the latest of the Sidewinder family of short-range air-to-air missiles. It features a high off-boresight focal-plane array seeker mounted on a highly maneuverable airframe with a greatly improved infrared counter-countermeasures feature. The AIM-9X incorporates many AIM-9M legacy components (rocket motor, warhead and active optical target detector), but its performance far exceeds the legacy Sidewinder. Unlike previous AIM-9 models, the AIM-9X can even be used against targets on the ground.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder (for Air Intercept Missile) is a short-range air-to-air missile which entered service with the US Navy in 1956 and subsequently was adopted by the US Air Force in 1964. Since then the Sidewinder has proved to be an enduring international success, and its latest variants are still standard equipment in most western-aligned air forces. The Soviet K-13, a reverse-engineered copy of the AIM-9, was also widely adopted by a number of nations. Nearly 3,000 AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles have been procured on behalf of 25 countries globally.