May 23 (UPI) -- Raytheon Missile Systems was awarded a $151.5 million contract to provide the United States and 20 allies with integrated logistics support and repairs for sustainment of AIM-9X Sidewinder tactical short-range missiles.
The AIM-9X Lot 18 Block II air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles are for the U.S. Navy and Air Force and governments under foreign military sales, the U.S. Defense Department announced Wednesday. The nations are Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.
Work is expected to be completed in May 2022, including 90.7 percent at Raytheon's plant in Tucson, Ariz., as well as 7 percent in Chesire, Conn., and less than 1 percent each in other locations in Germany and the continental United States.
Funds will be obligated on individual task orders as issued.
The missile is 9.5 feet long and 5 inches in diameter and weighs 190 pounds. It is configured for the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, E/A-18G, F-22 and F-35 fighters.
"The effectiveness and versatility of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile have been combat proven in several theaters throughout the world," Raytheon wrote on its website.
The AIM-9 Sidewinder was adopted by the U.S. Air Force in 1956, but it could not engage targets close to the ground, and it didn't have nighttime or head-on attack capability, according to the Air Force website.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, which entered service in November 2003, includes advanced infrared-tracking, short-range air-to-air and surface-to-air capabilities. The Block II variant, which completed its first test firing in November 2008, has a redesigned fuse and a digital ignition safety device to enhance ground handling and in-flight safety.
In December, Raytheon was awarded a $434 million contract for 766 AIM-9X Block II and Block II Plus missiles for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, as well as Israel, Norway, Qatar, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and the Netherlands.
In April, Raytheon was awarded a $12.1 million contract for AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and 21 allies.