Currently, one of the frequent guided missiles «air-air» in the U.S. Armed Forces are the AIM-9 Sidewinder several modifications. As reported by the magazine Flight citing Navy Air Command (NAVAIR), in the coming years, the company Raytheon hold another guided missile modernization, during which will be improved some of its properties.
On a brand new project updates AIM-9X missiles became clear in the fall of last year, but then all the information is limited only to general information about the properties and guesses modernized ammunition. For example, while alleging that refreshed missile AIM-9X Block III will be able to hit targets at ranges of up to 70-75 km. Now, new information concerning the new project.
Refreshed guided missile, is expected to be commissioned in 2022. Increased features required in order to Sidewinder missile continues to meet the requirements of the armed forces and naval aviation viz. The implication is that ammo AIM-9X Block III will be eligible for this operating carrier-based fighter F-35C, since the 2020-2022 period.
The main nuance upgrading its missiles will be updated powerplant. Raytheon Company and its subcontractors will be required to make a new solid engine with the best features. In applying the new motor according to customer requirements, the missile AIM-9X Block III should increment own actions from the current radius of 30-35 km (AIM-9X Block II) to 50-55, ie approximately 60%. With this introduction missile sphere expand significantly, providing perceptible increase combat capabilities of both the managed ammunition and fighters for whom it is intended.
Having a range of more than 50 km, the missile AIM-9X Block III will be able to do some tasks that are typical of other aviation munitions, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM earliest modifications. At the same time, it is expected that in some cases improved Sidewinder missile will have a greater potential than the AMRAAM. These possible advantages justified type used homing. In the near future leading countries equip their aircraft with new electronic warfare systems to function DRFM (Digital Radio Frequency Memory — «Digital Radio Frequency Memory»). Such systems can interfere with radar homing missiles. Heat seeker AIM-9X, in turn, are not subject to electronic warfare systems.
According to reports, in the process of upgrading new version of AIM-9X missiles will use the existing electronics, designed to modify Block II. The main construction work will go towards the creation of a new solid-fuel engine and more than perfect warhead. The implication is that the latter is the least volatile, but will retain their ability to engage targets.
It is easy to see that another modernization missiles AIM-9 Sidewinder is a palliative measure. To fill a tactical niche that can not take vsepolnotsenno one aviation ordnance is an improved version of the other; with the improvement applies only to certain systems. In nedavneshnem past for these purposes the Pentagon would initiate the creation of modern missiles, but for the moment obliged to confine upgrade available. The reason for such an approach to updating arsenals lies in the economy. South American military department forced to cut costs and in such a situation to develop modern rocket will cost a huge amount more in comparison with the modernization of the existing one.
Certain interest are stated deadlines or those other steps applets modernization. Thus, production and technological study of the project will start only in 2016. Two years later, in 2018, is scheduled for the first test launches and start finishing the latest missiles AIM-9X Block III. Operational tests, the results of which will decide on the acceptance of ammunition for weapons, will begin only in 2020. So Makar, the beginning of this operation is the latest modification Sidewinder missiles in the Navy, too, may be in the Air Force and Marine Corps will begin only after 8-10 years.
Corresponding feature catechumens terms is the fact that in the case of configuration and economic situation in the U.S. could end up reducing military expenditure. In this case, the Pentagon will be able to start funding the development of modern missiles «air-air», devoid of defects and available at all it is not a half-measure, as will be the case with the AIM-9X Block III. But to develop a new aircraft ammunition handy time and therefore still have to continue updating the existing types of weapons. So Makar, regardless of the forthcoming developments of political and economic character, guided missile AIM-9X Block III in the not to distant future remains one of the most important projects in the field of American aircraft armament.