Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to build lot-17 AIM-9X block II air-to-air missiles for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and military forces of Poland, Indonesia, Romania, and Belgium.
The contract also includes captive air training missiles, missile containers, air training missiles, active optical target detectors, tactical guidance units, captive air training missile guidance units, active optical target detector containers, guidance unit containers, and related spare parts.
The AIM-9X is a relatively short-range infrared heat-seeking missile that equips most jet fighters, fighter-bombers, and other offensive combat aircraft in the U.S. arsenal, and is for shooting down enemy aircraft close by. The AIM-9X works by homing in on an enemy aircraft's hot engine exhaust. Variants of the AIM-9 Sidewinder have been deployed since the 1950s.
The AIM-9X is among the latest versions of the AIM-9 missile family. It entered service in 2003 on the Navy F/A-18C Hornet fighter-bomber and on the U.S. Air Force F-15C jet fighter. It has an imaging infrared focal plane array seeker with 90-degree off-boresight capability for accuracy.
The missile is compatible with helmet-mounted displays such as the U.S. Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, and features 3-D thrust-vectoring control for increased turn capability. The AIM-9X also includes an internal cooling system.
Friday's contract involves the latest version of the AIM-9X, called the AIM-9X Block II. This newest version has lock-on after launch capability for use with the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and the F-22 Raptor advanced tactical fighter.
On this contract modification Raytheon will do the work in Tucson, Ariz.; Andover, Mass.; Valencia, Goleta, Chatsworth, San Diego, Newbury Park, El Segundo, Claremont, El Cajon, and San Jose, Calif.; Midland and Rocket Center, W.Va.; Ontario, Canada; Vancouver, Wash; Cheshire and Simsbury, Conn.; Heilbronn, Germany; Anniston, Ala.; Maniago, Italy; Orlando, Fla.; Joplin, Mo.; Lombard, Ill.; and in other locations inside and outside the U.S., and should be finished by March 2020.
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