The Air-to-Air Missiles Program Workplace (PMA-259) gained Portugal as its twenty ninth Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9X Worldwide Companion, after Portugal introduced it signed and accepted the AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Air-to-air Missile Letter of Provide and Acceptance (LOA) on September 28. The signed LOA permits PMA-259 to obtain 18 AIM-9X Block II missiles on behalf of the Portuguese Air Drive to enhance Portuguese Air Drive’s F-16 fleet. This procurement will likely be a part of the USA Navy’s Lot 23 Manufacturing Contract, which is able to result in missile supply in 2026.

The PMA-259 Worldwide Packages Crew has been working with Portugal representatives since January on this particular LOA effort and has supported a world relationship with Portugal for a few years. PMA-259 has supplied AIM-9X weapon system data to Portugal, by numerous Multi-Lateral Worldwide Engagements with all 5 of the F-16 European Collaborating Air Forces nations: Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Portugal will obtain AIM-9X Block II missiles that may make use of the true fifth-generation Block II capabilities of Lock-On-After-Launch, Knowledge Hyperlink, and Floor Assault.


An F-16 Preventing Falcon flies close to China Lake Naval Air Weapons Middle, California, throughout a profitable AIM-9X take a look at. The plane and pilot are from the 416th Flight Take a look at Squadron at Edwards Air Drive Base, California. (Photograph by Tom Reynolds/U.S. Air Drive)

The AIM-9 Sidewinder (the place “AIM” stands for “Air Intercept Missile”) is a short-range air-to-air missile which entered service with the US Navy in 1956 and subsequently was adopted by the US Air Drive in 1964. The AIM-9X entered service in November 2003 and is a considerable improve to the Sidewinder household that includes an imaging infrared focal-plane array (FPA) seeker with claimed 90° off-boresight functionality, compatibility with helmet-mounted shows akin to the brand new U.S. Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), and a very new two-axis thrust-vectoring management (TVC) system.

Testing work on the AIM-9X Block II model started in September 2008. The Block II provides lock-on after launch functionality with a datalink, so the missile will be launched first after which directed to its goal afterwards by an plane with the right tools for 360-degree engagements, such because the F-35 or the F-22. NAVAIR reported that the missile was exceeding efficiency necessities in all areas, together with lock-on after launch (LOAL). The HHOBS deficiency doesn’t impression another Block II capabilities, and is deliberate to be improved upon by a software program clean-up construct.