X-tended Prowess

Raytheon announced Wednesday that it has demonstrated, once again, the ability to attack surface targets with the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile that is in the inventory of the Air Force and Navy. During this test, which occurred Sept. 23 in the Gulf of Mexico, an Air Force F-16 fired an AIM-9X that sank a rapidly moving target boat, said the company. This was actually the third time that Raytheon says the sophisticated dogfight missile has engaged moving surface objects, building upon demonstrations against a maneuvering boat in April 2008 and a fast-moving ground vehicle in March 2007. “With a software upgrade, AIM-9X retains its air-to-air capabilities and gains an air-to-surface capability,” at a “very affordable cost,” said Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s vice president of air warfare systems.