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.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.