The US Air Force has received the 10,000th Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM).

The delivery marks a key milestone in the US Navy-led joint navy and airforce AIM-9X programme. Raytheon is serving as the prime contractor.

The missile was delivered to the Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office (PMA-259), which will celebrate the achievement with Raytheon later this year.

AIM-9X belongs to the family of AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles produced by Raytheon.

The SRAAM can use its datalink, thrust vectoring manoeuvrability, and advanced imaging IR seeker to hit targets behind the launching fighter.

The AIM-9X Block II missile is one of the multiple variants that make up the 5G Infra-red AIM-9X weapon system family.

This missile completed its first test firing in November 2008. Also known as AIM-9X-2, the missile is an upgraded variant with a lock-on-after-launch feature.

The full-rate production of the AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II infrared air-to-air missile began following the US Navy’s approval in September 2015.

PMA-259 AIM-9X deputy programme manager commander Sarah Abbott said: “To reach this milestone is a great privilege and showcases our team’s ability to continuously produce and distribute quality products in support of the US warfighter and our international partners.”

So far, about 3,000 AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles have been globally procured on behalf of 25 countries.

On average, the programme’s foreign military sales (FMS) team has accounted for more than 250 FMS missiles that have been procured annually since 2012.