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Raytheon to Supply Over 500 AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles to US, Allies

Raytheon Missiles & Defense has received a $264-million contract to produce 571 AIM-9X Sidewinder tactical missiles for the US and international allies.

The weapons under contract will be in the Block II all-up rounds configuration.

According to the US Department of Defense, 257 Sidewinder missiles will be handed over to the US Air Force, while 91 will be delivered to the US Navy.

The remaining 223 will be distributed to undisclosed foreign customers.

Apart from the weapon system, Raytheon will deliver captive air training systems, containers, spare parts, and related kits and support equipment as part of the agreement.

The majority of the work for the contract will be performed at the company’s facilities in Utah and Arizona, with delivery by August 2026.

About the Sidewinder

Raytheon’s Sidewinder missile is a supersonic, air-to-air missile with heat-seeking capability.

It features a high-explosive warhead, an active optical target detector, and a rocket motor.

The weapon is carried by F-15s, F-18 Super Hornets, and other fighter aircraft to support various missions.

The Sidewinder’s latest variant, the AIM-9X, has fixed forward canards and smaller fins designed to increase flight performance.

It has an infrared imaging seeker and a jet-vane steering system for improved post-launch agility.

The AIM-9X Block II boasts updated electronics, which enable lock-on-after-launch and beyond-visual-range engagements.

Earlier this year, the US Air Force validated the operability and safety of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile when launched from the F-15EX Eagle II fighter aircraft.

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