AIM-9 Sidewinder

Sidewinder is an IR-guided short-range, supersonic air-to-air missile.

It was developed by the Navy for fleet air defense and adapted for USAF fighters. Early versions were used extensively in the Vietnam War.

The AIM-9M is a joint Navy-USAF, all-altitude, all-aspect intercept missile. It has improved defense against IR countermeasures, background discrimination, and reduced-smoke rocket motor. AIM-9X is the newest jointly funded variant. It employs passive IR tracking, jet-vane steering for increased maneuverability, and Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) compatibility for high, off-boresight targeting.

The enhanced AIM-9X Block II was cleared for full-rate production in September 2015 and adds improved lock-after-launch and maneuverability, new data link for beyond-visual range engagement, enhanced anti-countermeasures, a new fuse, and safer ground-handling characteristics.

AIM-9X production includes 67 converted AIM-9Ms, 1,289 Block I, and planned joint-service procurement of 11,635 Block II/II-plus (nearly double the number originally planned). FY21 funds procure a combined 331 AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles.

Contractors: Raytheon; Northrop Grumman (propulsion).
First Flight: September 1953; July 1999 (AIM-9X); 2016 (AIM-9X Block II).
Delivered: AIM-9M 1983; AIM-9X from 2002-2011 (Block I); 2011-present (Block II); 2017-present (Block II+).
IOC: Circa 1983 (9M); 2003 (9X).
Production: 1,289 (Block I); 11,635 (Block II/Block II+) (planned).
Active Variants: •AIM-9M. Early variant. •AIM-9M-9. Expanded anti-countermeasure capability variant. •AIM-9X. Newest, highly maneuverable, JHMCS compatible variant.
Dimensions: Span 2.1 ft, length 9.4 ft, diameter 5 in.
Propulsion: Mk 36 Mod 11 (9M); Orbital ATK Mk 139 solid-propellant rocket motor (9X).
Performance: Speed Mach 2+, range 10+ miles.
Guidance: Passive IR homing guidance.
Warhead: HE annular blast fragmentation.
Integration: F-15C/D/E, F-16C/D, F-22A (AIM-9X). Planned: F-35A.

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