AIM-9 Sidewinder

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An AIM-9 Sidewinder

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a short-range air-to-air missile, which means it is shot from an aircraft to hit another aircraft. It is a heat seeking infrared missile, which locks on to something that gives out a large heat signature. It first flew in 1953, and went into air forces in 1956. It was used during the Vietnam War along with the AIM-7 Sparrow. The AIM-9 of that time was made for shooting at an enemy from behind and homing in on the engine. In Vietnam it hit only 10-20% of the time, and could be fooled. Sometimes it could lock on to the sun or other bogus heat source and not an enemy airplane.[1]

Later versions are better. They can see the enemy aircraft from all directions, not just from behind. They have a good hitting rate and can hit from 11 miles. Sidewinders are carried on many different aircraft around the world.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder".
  2. Kopp, Carlo (April 1994). "The Sidewinder Story; the Evolution of the AIM-9 Missile". Australian Aviation. 1994 (April).