AIM-9X Sidewinder Missile

Last updated: 26 Oct 2020

Description

The AIM-9X is a joint air-to-air missile designed to provide U.S. short-range first-look, first-shot missile superiority. The AIM-9X Block II is the latest generation short-range, heat-seeking missile and provides the pilot with high off-boresight and lock-on-after-launch capabilities.

190807-M-UG222-161.jpg
190807-M-UG222-161 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 7, 2019) Ordnance Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), load an AIM- 9X Sidewinder missile onto an F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft prior to a defensive combat air patrol rehearsal aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in the Pacific Ocean, Aug. 7, 2019. Wasp, flagship of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, with embarked 31st MEU, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as ready-response force for any type of contingency, while simultaneously providing a flexible and lethal crisis response force ready to perform a wide range of military operations. (U.S Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Luis Velez/Released)
190807-M-UG222-161.jpg
190807-M-UG222-161
190807-M-UG222-161 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 7, 2019) Ordnance Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), load an AIM- 9X Sidewinder missile onto an F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft prior to a defensive combat air patrol rehearsal aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in the Pacific Ocean, Aug. 7, 2019. Wasp, flagship of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, with embarked 31st MEU, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as ready-response force for any type of contingency, while simultaneously providing a flexible and lethal crisis response force ready to perform a wide range of military operations. (U.S Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Luis Velez/Released)
Photo By: Cpl. Luis Velez
VIRIN: 190807-M-UG222-161

 
Features

The AIM-9X Block II/II+ Sidewinder (AIM-9X Blk II/II+) continues the evolution of the AIM-9 series of missiles. This missile program delivers a launch and leave, air combat munition that uses passive Infrared (IR) energy to acquire and track enemy air targets and complements the radar guided Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). F/A-18 first shot, first kill opportunities while conducting air combat maneuvering Within Visual Range (WVR) are essential for aircrew survival. The AIM-9X provides these opportunities with unmatched offensive and defensive capabilities against threats WVR, even when IR countermeasures are employed. The AIM-9X also provides limited short-range capability in the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air battle. Anti-tamper features have been incorporated to protect improvements inherent in this design.

 
Background

A prototype of the Sidewinder, the AIM-9A, was first fired successfully in September 1953. The initial production version, designated AIM-9B, entered operational use in 1956 and has been improved upon steadily since. The L model was the first Sidewinder with the ability to attack from all angles, including head-on. The AIM-9M has the all-aspect capability of the L model while providing all-around higher performance. The AIM-9M has improved defense against infrared countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. These modifications increase its ability to locate and lock on a target and decrease the missile's chances for detection. Deliveries began in 1983. The AIM-9M-7 was a specific modification to AIM-9M in response to threats expected in the Persian Gulf war zone. The AIM-9X reached initial operational capability in late 2003 and was approved for full-rate production in May 2004. AIM-9X provides full day/night employment, resistance to countermeasures, extremely high off-boresight acquisition and launch envelopes, greatly enhanced maneuverability and improved target acquisition ranges. The Sidewinder is the most widely used air-to-air missile currently in use by more than 40 nations throughout the world. The AIM-9 is one of the oldest, least expensive and most successful missiles in the U.S. weapons inventory.

 

Service: Navy and Air Force

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Air-to-air missile
Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona
Date Deployed: 1956
Propulsion: Solid-propellant rocket
Length: 9.9 feet
Diameter: 5 inches (.13 meters)
Wingspan: 17.6 in. (0.45 m)
Weight: 186 lbs. (84 kg)
Speed: Classified (Supersonic)
Range: Classified
Guidance System: Passive infrared
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation (conventional) weighing 20.8 pounds (9.36 kg)
 
 

Point of Contact
Naval Air Systems Command
NAVAIR PEO(T) Public Affairs Officer

 

47123 Buse Rd, Bldg 2272, Ste 454
Patuxent River, MD 20670-1547

 

(301) 342-3167

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