US Defense Department To Scale Up Sidewinder Missile Production
DoD Announced Modified Contract With Raytheon in September
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has announced plans to increase the production of its AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles in order to support the US Air Force, Navy, Army, and foreign military partners. This move comes as the DoD modifies its contract with Raytheon, a subsidiary of RTX, to provide additional tools, equipment, and labor to boost production capacity.
In September, Raytheon secured a modification worth $236.7 million to produce 571 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles along with supplementary equipment. The Sidewinder missile, developed by Raytheon, is a highly versatile weapon primarily used for air-to-air engagements.
However, it can also be adapted for surface-attack and surface-launch missions.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile has already proven its effectiveness in various theaters across the globe, making it a sought-after weapon. Raytheon supplies this advanced infrared-tracking, short-range missile to over 24 countries worldwide, including NATO member countries and other US-allied nations.
The latest variant of the AIM-9X, the Block II, is equipped with updated electronics that enhance its capabilities. One notable feature is the lock-on-after-launch capability, which enables the missile to engage targets beyond visual range. This is made possible by a new weapon datalink that supports long-range engagements.
The decision to increase production of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile demonstrates the US military's commitment to maintaining a strong and reliable arsenal. By expanding its stockpile, the DoD aims to ensure that the Air Force, Navy, Army, and foreign military partners have a sufficient supply of this proven and highly effective weapon.
From an economic standpoint, this move also brings benefits. With increased production, there will be a greater demand for labor and associated equipment, which will in turn support job growth and stimulate the defense industry.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile has a long-standing reputation for its reliability and versatility. Its ability to adapt to different mission requirements, coupled with its advanced tracking capabilities, makes it a vital asset in modern warfare.
As the US Department of Defense takes steps to bolster its stockpile of AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, it sends a clear message of readiness and commitment to military partners around the world. With this increased production capacity, the US military can continue to rely on the AIM-9X Sidewinder as a crucial component of its air-to-air and surface engagement strategies.
The DoD's decision to increase production of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile underscores the importance of maintaining a robust and versatile arsenal. With its proven track record and advanced capabilities, this missile will continue to play a crucial role in the defense strategies of the U.S. and its allies.