Missile Milestone

Raytheon has delivered the 3,000th AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile that it is building for the US military and coalition partners, the company said in a release yesterday. The Navy is the lead service for the missile program and already operates the sophisticated dogfighting asset on its F/A-18s. But the Air Force is also buying the AIM-9X to replace earlier versions of the Sidewinder. The new missile is already carried by F-16C/D fighters and F-15C/D models, an Air Combat Command spokeswoman confirmed yesterday. And USAF has said it has plans to integrate AIM-9X on the F-22 and F-15E fighters. In Fiscal 2009, USAF intends to procure 275 AIM-9X missiles.