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USAF F-35 fighter jet fires an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile for the first time

World Defense & Security News - United States
USAF F-35 fighter jet fires an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile for the first time
An F-35 fighter jet from the 461st Flight Test Squadron launched an AIM-9X missile for the first time over the Pacific Sea Test Range Jan. 12, 412th Test Wing Public Affairs announced yesterday, Jan. 21, 2016. The flight sciences aircraft, AF-1, of the Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force, was piloted by David Nelson, the Lockheed Martin chief F-35 test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base.
USAF F 35 fighter jet fires an AIM 9X Sidewinder missile for the first time 640 001AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile Jan. 12. (Credit: Chad Bellay/Lockheed Martin)
The AIM-9X is an advanced infrared missile and the newest of the Sidewinder family of short-range air-to-air missiles carried on a wide range of fighter jets.

The missile was launched at 6,000 feet.

The shot paves the way for the F-35 to utilize the weapon's high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena.

AIM-9X is actively deployed on U.S. Navy and Air Force F-15, F-16, and F-18 aircraft, and is further deployed in the air forces of 18 international customers.

The AIM-9X Block II adds a redesigned fuze and a digital Ignition Safety Device that enhances ground handling and in-flight safety. The Block II variant also features updated electronics that enable significant enhancements, including lock-on-after-launch capability using a new weapon datalink to support Beyond Visual Range engagements.