US ordered 483 AIM-9X air-to-air missiles for domestic and foreign use

WASHINGTON, BM – The US government has awarded a large-scale contract to Raytheon Missile and Defense, Tucson, Arizona for the production of nearly 500 AIM-9X Block II air-to-air missiles, according to contracts announced on June 30 by the US Department of Defense. The order is worth nearly $ 328 million and covers products and services that will have to be produced for use by both US forces and foreign partners.

The order includes the name of Bulgaria, which means that the production of the first two F-16 Block 70/72 fighters is going according to plan, as the AIM-9X Block II is part of the armament of the Bulgarian fighters. Apart from Bulgaria (and by default the USA), the other countries that will expect different models of missiles under this agreement are Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to the mentioned missiles, Raytheon Missile and Defense will have to produce and deliver under this contract 82 AIM-9X block II plus all up round missiles, 156 Block II Captive Air Training Missiles, eight Block II Special Air Training Missiles, 198 all up round containers, several optical detectors, guidance devices, training missiles, propulsion sections, explosive discharge systems, etc. The work on the implementation of this order will be carried out on two continents – the United States and Canada, and Germany in Europe.

Quite a large part of the missiles will go to the needs of the US military units, such as 483 air missiles AIM-9X Block II 399 are intended for use by the US Navy and Air Force. As noted in the information on this order, all products and services that Raytheon Missile and Defense will have to perform are not on a competitive basis but based on assignment by the US government in connection with orders from the Pentagon and the countries listed above.

AIM-9X Block II is an air-to-air missile tested for the first time in 2008. It is part of the equipment of both already produced F-22 and F-35, and the new F-16 block 70/72. This missile has one feature – the target can be set at a later stage, i.e. it is fired first and then aimed.

The United States identifies this missile model as the best against unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles due to its passive infrared search engine.

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