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Italy buys additional 28 Sidewinder short range air missiles

21st March 2024 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Most Sidewinder variants use infrared homing for guidance. (Photo: US DoD)

Italy has requested more Sidewinder Block II+ tactical missiles from the US on top of the approximately 1,000 AIM-9s already delivered.

The US State Department has approved a possible US$90 million FMS to Italy for AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles.

Italy has requested 28 Sidewinder Block II+ tactical missiles, four guidance units that will be added to the previously implemented cases, training missiles and associated equipment.

“The proposed sale will improve Italy’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing training missiles and guidance units for Italy’s F-35 fleet in support of NATO’s defence mission,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

Most Sidewinder variants use infrared homing for guidance, and out of more than 110,000 missiles produces around the world, 1% have been used in combat. The AIM-9 is one of the least expensive and more successful variants, with an estimated 270 aircraft kills by 2010.

Designed to be simple to upgrade, the new AIM-9X Block II variant incorporates a new fuse and a forward-quarter data link capability within the radar’s field of regard. It is expected to be integrated on the USMC AH-1Z.

Besides this new order, Italy has received around a total of 1,000 AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, according to Shephard Defence Insight.

The Shephard News Team


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