US Approves AIM-9X Block II+ Foreign Military Sale To Italy | Aviation

Italy Aim 9x Block Ii Fms Top.jpg

File photo of an F-35 of the 40th Flight Test Squadron launching an AIM-9X missile. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Brandi Hansen

The sale was previously announced by NAVAIR in 2021, when the Italian Air Force signed the Letter of Offer & Acceptance.

A month after the notification of the approval of the Foreign Military Sale to Italy for AIM-120C-8 missiles and GBU-53/B bombs, the State Department has now approved also the FMS to Italy for the AIM-9X Block II+ Sidewinder missiles. The Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office (PMA-259) already announced Italy as the 28th Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9X International Partner in 2021, with the missile being procured to equip the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets of both the Italian Air Force and Italian Navy.

Similarly to the FMS of the AIM-120C-8 and GBU-53/B, Italy already requested other FMS whose values were under the congressional notification threshold. With this new one, a congressional notification combined the three FMS cases for a total of 66 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II+ Tactical Missiles, 7 AIM-9X Block II+ Tactical Guidance Units, 24 AIM-9X Captive Air Training Missiles and 4 AIM-9X CATM Guidance Units.

As usual, also included are active optical target detectors, containers, personnel training and training equipment, classified and unclassified publications and technical documents, as well as engineering, technical, and logistics support services. The estimated total cost is $90.6 million, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notice, which equals to €83.2 million.

According to the 2021 press release from NAVAIR, the missiles acquired by Italy will be part of the U. S. Navy’s Lot 23 Production Contract which will was awarded in 2023, with the delivery of the missiles scheduled for 2026. At the time, however, the quantities were not known, with NAVAIR only mentioning a “a modest quantity” of missiles.

The AIM-9X Block II is considered the most advanced…

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