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 the Republic of Korea (ROK).
Under the estimated $98m sale, South Korea has requested the supply of a total of 76 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II all-up-round missiles, along with 24 CATM-9X-2 captive air training missiles (CATMs), and eight CATM-9X-2 Block II missile guidance units.
The package also includes four AIM-9X-2 Block II tactical guidance units, containers, missile support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, and other related logistics and programme support.
The missiles are expected to supplement South Korea's existing missile capability and weapon inventory, strengthen its homeland defence and deter regional threats, and also enhance interoperability with the US forces.
The sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by meeting the legitimate security and defence requirements of ROK, which continues to serve as an important force for peace, political stability and economic progress in north-east Asia.
Raytheon Missile Systems has been named as the 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.
The missile, which is currently undergoing testing, 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 this year.
Image: The AIM-9X Block II is an upgraded version of AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. Photo: courtesy of TSgt. Michael Ammons.