The US Department of State has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to South Korea of AIM-9X Block II Tactical Sidewinder Missiles and other related equipment for an estimated cost of $158.1 million.
Seoul has requested to buy 115 AIM-9X Block II Tactical Sidewinder missiles; 50 AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); 20 AIM-9X Block II Tactical Missile Guidance Units; and 20 AIM 9X Block II CATM Guidance Units, according to Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s (DSCA) statement Oct 1. Also included are containers, weapon system support, and other elements of programme support. Raytheon Corporation will the principal contractor for this programme. According to DSCA, there are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile one of the most advanced infrared-tracking, short-range, air-to-air and surface-to-air missile in the world. It is configured for easy installation on a wide range of modern aircraft, including the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, E/A-18G, F-22 and F-35 fighters.
The Block II version features a redesigned fuze and a digital ignition safety device that enhances ground handling and in-flight safety. It also features updated electronics that enable significant enhancements, including lock-on-after-launch capability using a new weapon datalink to support beyond visual range engagements.
Mainly deployed on US Navy and US Air Force aircraft, the capability of the AIM-9X Sidewinder has been proven in several operational theatres throughout the world. It is also in active service of the armed forces of 22 nations that include Australia, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.—shp/aaa/mgm