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 Sidewinder to take aim at ground targets

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PostSubject: Sidewinder to take aim at ground targets   Sidewinder to take aim at ground targets Icon_minitimeSat Jan 09, 2010 10:40 pm

A software tweak will transform the venerable Sidewinder missile, known for its air-to-air precision, into a weapon that can strike rapidly moving targets on the ground.
With three tests already proving that the AIM-9X Sidewinder can zero in on a boat or armored personnel carrier, the next step is to refine the way pilots aim and launch them, said Jeffrey White, AIM-9X program manager at Raytheon Co., which developed the missiles. Those tests begin this year.
Versions of the supersonic Sidewinder have flown on Air Force fighters since the mid-1950s as a missile intended to shoot down aircraft. The Air Force pays about $84,000 apiece for the AIM-9X, the latest Sidewinder variant, but the cost of the additional air-to-ground capability has not been determined.
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