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AIM-9X Sidewinder Approved For Full-Rate Production

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040519-03

Release Date: 5/19/2004 9:13:00 AM

From Naval Air Systems Command PEO-T Public Affairs

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- The Naval Air Systems Command Air-to-Air Missile Program Office announced May 17 that the AIM-9X Sidewinder has been approved for Full-Rate Production.

Authorization for this milestone was granted by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, the Honorable John J. Youngon.

"It's great to get approval for AIM-9X full-rate production," said Air-to-Air Missile Systems Program Manager, Capt. Scott Stewart. "Our Navy, Air Force and Allied air crews deserve weapons that allow them to dominate in air-to-air combat. AIM-9X extends their tactical flexibility and capability beyond traditional missiles. It certainly has redefined the way we fight in aerial combat with its inherent transformational war-fighting capabilities."

The AIM-9X is a joint U.S. Navy and Air Force program, with the Navy designated as the lead service. As an acclaimed U.S. Department of Defense flagship program for Modeling and Simulation (M&S), it saved more than $50 million in development costs. Complemented by this sophisticated and accredited M&S capability, the AIM-9X program underwent an extensive and highly successful flight test program. The program successfully scored an unprecedented 18 of 19 guided flight successes during development testing and completed 22 operational evaluation firings.

AIM-9X also proved to be highly reliable in more than 3,500 hours of rigorous captive flight-testing. Both services have declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The U.S. Air Force declared IOC in November at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and the Navy, along with Marine Squadrons at Iwakuni, Japan, in February.

"This key program milestone was achieved through effective teamwork and a strong systems design approach," said Raytheon's Air-to-Air Programs Director Brock McCaman. "It is most rewarding to be delivering this revolutionary capability to our warfighters."

The AIM-9X system design approach incorporates a fifth-generation staring Focal Plane Array seeker for robust guidance performance, and Infrared Countermeasure resistance and jet vane control for extremely agile turning performance.

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