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The AIM-9 Sidewinder is an Air-to-Air heat-seeking missile created by the Raytheon Systems to equip the United States Air Force aircraft and some attack helicopters, such as the AH-64D Apache Longbow. The AIM-9 sidewinder may be considered one of the most important missiles of the USAF.

Description[edit | edit source]

The Sidewinder missiles of the type originated in the U.S. in 50 years, and the first operational version was the

AIM-9 Sidewinder

AIM-9A. Which became operational in 1956 and experienced in combat in 1958.

The missile has undergone several modifications and upgrades and still in active in their latest versions as the M version, or the very latest version of AIM-9X.

The AIM-9F version is an adaptation and modernization of the European AIM-9B Sidewinder and many European countries are still using this version. It was also adapted for use in defense systems fired anti-aircraft from ground vehicles. When in 1958 a Sidewinder missile fell into Soviet hands, he served as a model for the manufacture of a Soviet version of the system, which resulted in K-13 (called by NATO countries as AA-2 Atoll).

The development of Soviet versions, joined the development of Chinese versions (such as PL-2 and PL-5)

Variants[edit | edit source]

AIM-9A/B[edit | edit source]

The AIM-9A are the first prototypes of the AIM-9 Sidewinder and first flew in 1953. The first production version was the "B", which entered service in 1956. Either version A or B had a limited effect, because the missile could not be used at night, nor was it able to identify targets near the ground. Its infrared sensor, which had detected a strong presence of heat, which could only be fired from behind an enemy plane, having no ability to identify the target, if it was shot in the face. It was equipped with a Thiokol Mk.17 solid fuel engine.

AIM-9G/H[edit | edit source]

This version of the Sidewinder is characterized by no longer having circuits with vacuum tubes (that were abandoned in the G version - which is an improved version of D). From the G version of the Sidewinder now have the ability to "fix" a target, not that he was aligned with the aircraft launcher. The version 9G/H offers electronic components and semiconductors missile has an opening for screening target of 20 degrees.

AIM-9L[edit | edit source]

This version of the Sidewinder, introduced in 1976 is characterized by having a more powerful solid fuel engine, the Bermite Mk.36, in addition, several improvements have increased maneuverability of the missile. With the AIM-9L was first introduced the ability to attack a target from any angle. The resistance to electronic countermeasures has also increased, because in 1976, there were mean capable of fooling the older versions of Sidewinder.

AIM-9M[edit | edit source]

AIM-9M on an A-10 Warthog

Introduced in 1983, the AIM-9M version is an upgrade version of the AIM-9L and is characterized by its greater capacity to be able to avoid the counter-measures systems, increasing the missile's ability to identify sources of heat.

It has also increased the ability to identify a target at low altitude, achieving the target to distinguish the ground. The AIM-9 is probably one the most effective of all the Sidewinder, and it was attributed to the killing of 13 Iraqi aircraft during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

AIM-9P[edit | edit source]

Introduced in 1978, the AIM-9P Sidewinder, characterized by being very maneuverable, and have greater range. As a result of the explosive is less. The P version is a derivative of "J" version and shares the characteristics of the versions 'E', 'J' and 'N'. This sub Sidewinder family is regarded as an export version, with lower capacity than the trend line 9H/9L/9M/9X. The AIM-9P is cheaper than its contemporary class AIM-9M, although slightly less sophisticated and it is also used by U.S. Air Force and the U.S Air National Guard of the several American states.

AIM-9X[edit | edit source]

The latest version of the Sidewinder missile is one with characteristics that increase their lethality, and should be used in most U.S. aircraft. Continues to treat yourself to a short-range missile, but will have far greater capabilities in relation to the capacity to identify sources of heat by, for instance to identify the silhouette of the aircraft target and avoid other sources of heat. The electronic devices that enable the AIM-9X to identify targets, even in the presence of many alternative sources of heat and / or decoys greatly increase the likelihood of achieving the target in respect of any previous missile AIM-9 family. Besides these advantages, the new engine Hercules-Bermite Mk.36, can raise the maximum range to nearly double, turning the AIM-9X missile from a NBVR (Near Beyond Visual Range). The AIM-9X could be configured into a NCADE weapon or a submarine launched missile.hhhhhh

Operators[edit | edit source]

Specifications[edit | edit source]

  • Main Function: Air-to-Air missile
  • Orientation System: Infrared or Heat Seeking
  • Range: 17 km
  • Diameter: 130mm
  • Speed: mach 2.5+
  • Length: 3.02m
  • Weight: 85.5

See also[edit | edit source]

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