The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of AIM-9X-2 sidewinder missiles and associated equipment to Belgium.
The country has requested $68m worth of weapons, consisting of 40 AIM-9X-2 sidewinder Block II all-up-round missiles, 36 CATM-9X-2 captive air training missiles, 2 CATM-9X-2 Block II missile guidance units, and ten AIM-9X-2 block II tactical guidance units.
Additional components of the package include four dummy air training missiles, containers, missile support and test equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, as well as other related logistics support and programme support.
The AIM-9X missiles are being procured by the Belgian Air Force (BAF) as part of its overall military modernisation programme to better support its own air defense requirements and also to enhance its interoperability with the US and other Nato allies.
The potential sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of a Nato ally, which continues to serve as an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. Raytheon Missile Systems has been named as prime contractor for the FMS programme.
The AIM-9X Block II missile is an upgraded version of Raytheon’s AIM-9X Block I Sidewinder infrared-guided, air-to-air missile, featuring a lock-on-after-launch capability, redesigned fuse and a one-way forward-quarter datalink capability.
Currently undergoing testing, the missile has been designed to enhance ground handling and in-flight safety, as well as demonstrating its ability in air-to-surface and surface-to-air missions.
The missile is scheduled to enter service with the US Air Force and Navy in early 2014, while deliveries to international partners are expected to commence later that year.
Image: An AIM-9X Sidewinder missile attached to the port side inboard wing pylon of a USAF’s F-15C Eagle aircraft. Photo: Camera Operator: TSgt. Michael Ammons, USAF.