Wednesday, August 10, 2016

US, Raytheon go three-for-three in first firing of AIM-9X Sidewinder from F-35

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 F-35 can carry two AIM-9X missiles on its wings and four AIM-120s internally when configured for an air dominance mission. These test firings advances integration of the AIM-9X, with introduction across the F-35 fleet expected in 2017. Complementary Raytheon weapons (AMRAAM and AIM-9X) ensure allied pilots flying the newest fighter aircraft have the most reliable, effective and lethal arsenal to assure victory in combat.
The fourth guided test in the series is expected to take place later this year.

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