US Air Force, EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A test team from the Global Power Fighters Combined Test Force fired the newest variant of the AIM-9 Sidewinder, the X variant, for the first time from an F-16 Fighting Falcon here April 9.
The Sidewinder is a supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile carried by fighter aircraft. Before this, the AIM-9X had been fired only from F-15 Eagles and U.S. Navy F-18 Hornets.
The test mission is part of the F-16 M4-plus test project currently going on here. The project tests an improved avionics system that will be used to upgrade about 600 active-duty F-16 aircraft.
This was the first firing in a series of tests designed to clear the new variant for use on the F-16, said Capt. Chad Hale, 416th Flight Test Squadron operations engineer for the project. The initial flights are designed to validate the effects predicted by its contracted developer.
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