RaytheonÂ has worked with theÂ U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to test-fire three short-range, air-to-air missiles launched from anÂ F-35A aircraft that resulted in direct hits against airborne targets.
Raytheon said Wednesday theÂ tests wereÂ conducted to assess the AIM-9X Block I Sidewinder‘sÂ end-to-end system, which includesÂ loading, in-flight carriage and guidance, launch initiation, separation, impact/proximity fuzing and target acquisition functions.
“These tests validated the onboard communications and handoffs between the aircraft and the missile required to prosecute an aerial target,” saidÂ Mark Justus, AIM-9X program director atÂ Raytheon’s missile systems business.
The company noted thatÂ AIM-9X is the first short-range, air-to-air missile used with the Lockheed Martin-built F-35, which can accommodateÂ two AIM-9X missiles on its wings and four AIM-120s in an internal bay.
Raytheon plans to hold the fourth guided test onÂ the AIM-9X missile before the end ofÂ 2016, with the missile’s integration into theÂ F-35 fleet integration scheduled inÂ 2017.