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Turkey seeks AIM-9X Sidewinder from U.S.

May 8, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Turkey has submitted a formal request for 105 AIM-9X Sidwinder missiles as well as associated equipment and services like 78 LAU-129 launchers and 22 captive air training missiles.

Members from the 416th Flight Test Squadron successfully fire the newest variant of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile for the first time from F-16C #87-0392 April 9. Maj. Ray Toth, 416th FLTS test pilot, and Capt. Nick Hague, 416th FLTS project engineer, flew the F-16 during the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile mission. [USAF photo by Tom Reynolds]

The estimated value, if all options are exercised, is $71 million.

The AIM-9X is a supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile that can be fired day or night. They can be used on Turkey's F-16 fighters which received the CCIP upgrade.

"The proposed sale of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles is part of Turkey's modernization effort and will enhance its current air-to-air intercept capability," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on May 4. "Sales of the AIM-9X have recently been approved for other customers within the region."

The prime contractor will be Raytheon Systems Corporation, Tucson, Arizona.

According to the DSCA, the proposed sale will not adversely affect either the military balance in the region or U.S. efforts to encourage a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question.