August 10, 2016 - The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company successfully test-fired three AIM-9X® Block I missiles from an F-35A aircraft at airborne targets, resulting in direct hits. The weapon is the first short-range, air-to-air missile to be used on the F-35.
"These tests validated the on-board communications and handoffs between the aircraft and the missile required to prosecute an aerial target," said Mark Justus, AIM-9X program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. "AIM-9X will help ensure our pilots and allies have the most reliable and effective weapons on the F-35. We look forward to the remaining flight test and integration work, leading to fielding of the AIM-9X on the most advanced fighter aircraft."
The series of guided live fire tests proved the end-to-end system capability of AIM-9X on the F-35, including:
- · Loading
- · In-flight carriage
- · Target acquisition by the aircraft, passing a target cue to the missile on the rail
- · Missile target acquisition and track
- · Launch initiation
- · Safe separation
- · In-flight guidance
- · Impact/proximity fusing at target intercept.
The fourth guided test in the series is expected to take place later this year.