The US State Department has authorized the sale of Sidewinder missiles and related equipment to South Korea.

Approval of sale of AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles to South Korea

The US State Department has given the green light to a Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea. The deal, valued at $52.1 million, includes acquiring AIM-9X Block II and II+ Sidewinder Missiles and other related equipment.

South Korea requested to purchase forty-two (42) AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II+ tactical missiles, ten (10) AIM-9X Sidewinder CATM training missiles, as well as guidance units and other support elements. Raytheon Missiles and Defense (RMD), Tucson, AZ, is the prime contractor.

History and capabilities of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile

The  AIM-9 Sidewinder is a short-range air-to-air missile, in service since 1956 in the US Navy and since 1964 in the Air Force. It is one of the most successful and mass-produced missiles, with more than 110,000 units for the US and 27 other countries. It is estimated that he has shot down about 270 aircraft.

The current position does not guide the Sidewinder, but by the change in position since the last sighting, and has been built under license in several countries.

Improved features of the AIM-9X and Block II

Introduced in 2003, the AIM-9X  is an advanced version of the Sidewinder family. It features an infrared image viewer, compatibility with systems such as the US JHMCS, and a novel thrust vector control system. Its design allows you to aim and lock on to targets just by looking at them, increasing combat effectiveness.

The AIM-9X Block II  adds the ability to lock the missile after launch for 360-degree engagements, compatible with aircraft such as the F-35 or F-22. Although it requires improvements to the HHOBS system, its overall performance exceeds expectations.