Morocco has signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) with the US government for the purchase of AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder infrared-guided, air-to-air missiles from Raytheon.
As part of the agreement, the US government will supply an undisclosed number of tactical and training AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles, which will be integrated into the Royal Moroccan Air Force’s (RMAF) F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fleet.
US Navy air-to-air missile programme manager, Captain John Martins, said the missiles will provide the RMAF with enhanced capability, in addition to boosting security in the Middle East and North Africa.
"This sale is a win for both the US and Moroccan warfighters because it enhances coalition air combat operations and also reduces the unit cost of the AIM-9X Block II missile through economies of scale," Martins added.
Raytheon Missile Systems’ Air Warfare Systems product line vice president Harry Schulte said the sale represents the company’s continued commitment to the Middle East and North African region.
"More than 400 Raytheon employees and suppliers have built and delivered more than 4,000 AIM-9X Block I missiles for the US and our allies worldwide," Schulte said.
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.
The missile is currently undergoing the operational testing phase, according to Raytheon, which is also developing AIM-9X Block II captive air training missiles.
In addition to RMAF, the AIM-9X Block II All Up Round tactical missiles have been ordered by the US Navy, the Republic of Korea and the Royal Saudi Arabia Air Forces.
Image: An AIM-9X Sidewinder missile mounted on the port side inboard wing pylon of a US Air Force F-15C Eagle aircraft.