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F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 05:36
by spazsinbad
F-35 operators have started switching to AIM-9X Block II+
31 Dec 2018 ALERT5

"Raytheon was given a contract on Dec. 28 to supply 160 AIM-9X Block II+ air-to-air missiles to the U.S. Navy, Air Force and the governments of Australia; Israel; and the Netherlands.

The same contract also gave Raytheon orders to produce 766 AIM-9X Block II missiles."

Source: http://alert5.com/2018/12/31/f-35-opera ... -block-ii/

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 09:06
by element1loop
Now that's some welcome news. 8)

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 13:17
by mixelflick
Hmmm... what are we to make of this news?

Was it planned from the beginning, or something new/that was accelerated? I agree its welcome news, doubly so if the F-35 can maintain a low RCS while carrying them. If memory serves, it's a near beyond visual range AAM? Would seem well suited to its sniper like mission, and makes a great compliment to the AMRAAM, particularly if enemies have developed a reliable way to jam it.

Brings the AAM load up to 6, and eventually 8 when 6 AMRAAM's are fitted. Plus, the way they're fitted just looks cool :)

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 17:07
by element1loop
II+ (AIM-9X-3) has AMRAAM's two-way datalink and the nav updates developed for the cancelled BKIII so will use full BVR fly-outs with higher-gain longer-range datalinking for mid-course making for better nav efficiency and terminal energy. That's a big step-up from BkII, for increasing PK at a higher range, especially when combined with an entirely passive engagement capability using the soon the be upgraded DAS and EOTS ... against non alerted targets.

That's a wicked further tactical advantage to have on 3F F-35s at FOC.

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 23:22
by aussiebloke
element1loop wrote:AIM-9X Block II+ (AIM-9X-3) has AMRAAM's two-way datalink


If that is true then it appears to me that is an about-turn from what was being said in 2016. Block III was cancelled sometime in 2015).

See https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/ ... c=26530.15
or
https://forum.keypublishing.com/forum/m ... ews/page40
[The original Jane's article appears to no longer exist]

Mark Justus, AIM-9X programme director at RMS told IHS Jane's that the Block II+ initiative comprises "minor hardware modifications to the external missile body which improve aerodynamics and [launch] platform survivability".

Justus said that for the Block II+, the missile's five main components - the guidance unit, AOTD, warhead, rocket motor, control actuator system, and internal circuitry - remain the same as Block II. "Software versions for AIM-9X are driven by the main processor unit [MPU]. Block II and II+ use the same MPU with identical software versions and associated capability," Justus added.

Justus said that Block II+ is interchangeable with a Block II missile "at any time and on any platform. As with Block II, the Block II+ will remain backward compatible with a Block I AIM-9X. Visually, the differences between a Block II and II+ are small, and difficult to discern, and the mass properties are identical."

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 04:22
by element1loop
aussiebloke wrote:
element1loop wrote:AIM-9X Block II+ (AIM-9X-3) has AMRAAM's two-way datalink


If that is true then it appears to me that is an about-turn from what was being said in 2016. Block III was cancelled sometime in 2015).


Around Jan/Feb 2015 as far as I could nail it down.

I've just had a look back over the USN Sidewinder procurement docs from 2014 to 2017 and related docs and it appears I misread the datalink as being a two-way. The upgraded datalink on the BKII is already AMRAAM derived, but one-way and common to the II & II+.

Appears I have that wrong, thanks for the clarification. :doh:

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 08:14
by gc
Base on the USN program guide 2017.

It's to improve the F-35 survivability. Does that mean it allows for internal carriage or launch or perhaps have LO characteristics to reduce the RCS inpact of external carriage.

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 08:23
by wrightwing
gc wrote:Base on the USN program guide 2017.

It's to improve the F-35 survivability. Does that mean it allows for internal carriage or launch or perhaps have LO characteristics to reduce the RCS inpact of external carriage.

No, it means that by having the Block II+ variant, survivability is improved over AIM-9M/X Block I/II.

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 09:10
by gc
wrightwing wrote:
gc wrote:Base on the USN program guide 2017.

It's to improve the F-35 survivability. Does that mean it allows for internal carriage or launch or perhaps have LO characteristics to reduce the RCS inpact of external carriage.

No, it means that by having the Block II+ variant, survivability is improved over AIM-9M/X Block I/II.



Word for word from the guide, it is to improve the F-35’s survivability ‘when carrying’ the missile.

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 14:03
by aussiebloke
gc wrote:
It's to improve the F-35 survivability. Does that mean it allows for internal carriage or launch or perhaps have LO characteristics to reduce the RCS inpact of external carriage.


Based on the comment I quote below my guess is that RAM has been applied to the missile's outer surfaces to reduce the RCS when carried externally.

"FY 2018 continues procurement of AIM-9X Block II and the second year of AIM-9X Block II+ missiles, which incorporates specialized external materials to enhance aircraft platform survivability."

http://www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/Docu ... s_book.pdf

Also this quote from my other reply on this topic:

Mark Justus, AIM-9X programme director at RMS told IHS Jane's that the Block II+ initiative comprises "minor hardware modifications to the external missile body which improve aerodynamics and [launch] platform survivability".

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 10 Jan 2019, 16:13
by mixelflick
That's the clearest language yet that the 9x/external carriage option is low observable.

And it adds a frightening new capability to the F-35's air to air prowess. Even before the 6 AMRAAM loadout, it brings a 6 AAM loadout of mixed seekers and near BVR capability (or is it confirmed BVR for the 9x)?

And even more importantly, 8 ways to Sunday to ID, track and destroy multiple bandits - many of which are passive. It may bring its top speed down a little, but not much. I'm afraid it just keeps getting worse for the SU-35's and J-20's of the world...

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 10 Jan 2019, 18:24
by wrightwing
From the Warrior Maven site.

"Raytheon AIM-9X weapons developers have told Warrior that the Block 2 variant adds a redesigned fuze and a digital ignition safety device that enhances ground handling and in-flight safety. Block II 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, a Raytheon statement said."

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 12:25
by hornetfinn
aussiebloke wrote:Based on the comment I quote below my guess is that RAM has been applied to the missile's outer surfaces to reduce the RCS when carried externally.

"FY 2018 continues procurement of AIM-9X Block II and the second year of AIM-9X Block II+ missiles, which incorporates specialized external materials to enhance aircraft platform survivability."

http://www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/Docu ... s_book.pdf

Also this quote from my other reply on this topic:

Mark Justus, AIM-9X programme director at RMS told IHS Jane's that the Block II+ initiative comprises "minor hardware modifications to the external missile body which improve aerodynamics and [launch] platform survivability".


Maybe new fins and canards with slightly different shaping (for better aerodynamics) and using new materials in them or adding RAM there? I find it interesting (although not necessarily unexpected) that such small upgrade to small air-to-air missile would improve platform survivability.

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 13:21
by mixelflick
So most are switching to the 9x... but not all. Case in point, I just read where the UK's F-35B's will carry ASRAAM?

Re: F-35 operators start switching to AIM-9X Block II+

Unread postPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 14:28
by hornetfinn
mixelflick wrote:So most are switching to the 9x... but not all. Case in point, I just read where the UK's F-35B's will carry ASRAAM?


Well, ASRAAM is pretty good missile itself with the same seeker (IIRC) as AIM-9X and similar HOBS and LOAL capability than latest AIM-9X missiles. Since it has been operational in the UK for a long time, there just isn't that much need for AIM-9X there.