Newest Sidewinder Heads to Full Production

The newest AIM-9X Block II air-to-air missile was cleared for full-rate production and delivery to the Air Force, Navy, and allied customers, manufacturer Raytheon announced on Sept. 3. “We look forward to getting them into the hands of our warfighters as quickly as possible,” program manager Navy Capt. Jim Stoneman said in the release. The Block II boasts an “updated electronics package [that] gives the missile features significant enhancements, like the ability to lock on after launch using a new datalink that supports beyond-visual-range engagements,” company missile vice president Mike Jarrett added. The Navy’s full-rate production decision follows the completion of the missile’s live fire testing requirements back in June. The AIM-9X Block I missile entered service in 2003, and development of the Block II began in 2011, according to Raytheon.