AIM-9X Sidewinder Missile Demonstrates Surface-Launch Capabilities

By on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

PARIS: Raytheon Company’s AIM-9X Sidewinder missile demonstrated surface-to-air capability when it engaged an unmanned aircraft vehicle target during a May 16 test.

The AIM-9X is a fifth-generation, high off-boresight, infrared-guided missile developed and deployed for the air-to-air mission. This test marks the second time the AIM-9X was fired in a surface-to-air role.

“The AIM-9X team was pleased to assist the U.S. Marine Corps with this successful demonstration,” said Capt. Jeffrey Penfield, the U.S. Navy’s Air-to-Air Missile program manager. “The AIM-9X missile has tremendous air-to-air capabilities, and this demonstration may help our warfighters exploit these capabilities in complementary employment methods.”

During the test a telemetered AIM-9X was cued by an off-board sensor. The missile, which was mounted on a LAU-7A/D launcher on a U.S. Marine Corps Humvee, tracked, launched and guided to within lethal range of the target.

“A ground-based AIM-9X missile system makes perfect sense from a value and capabilities perspective,” said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air Warfare Systems. “AIM-9X has transformed air-to-air engagements and will now provide a revolutionary surface-to-air capability for force protection, high-value asset protection and overall air defense.”

AIM-9X Block I is currently in production and has a reprogrammable guidance unit. AIM-9X Block II is undergoing developmental testing and adds lock-on-after-launch capability, an enhanced fuze and a one-way forward quarter datalink capability. Both variants could be used in a surface-to-air configuration.

More than 400 Raytheon employees design and build the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile in Tucson, Ariz.; Andover, Mass.; and Goleta, Calif.

Hundreds of employees in scores of businesses across the U.S. design and manufacture AIM-9X components. Major suppliers include: Alliant Technology, Rocket Center, W.Va.; Atlantic Inertial Systems, Cheshire, Conn.; Axsys Technology, San Diego; 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; L3 KDI Precision Products, Cincinnati.

Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.

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