The U.S. Army and Raytheon successfully test fired an AIM-9X Block II missile from the Army's ground-based Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-I (IFPC 2-I) Block 1 Multi-Mission Launcher (MML).
AIM-9X is traditionally fired from aircraft toward aerial targets and this test demonstrated that the latest AIM-9X can be used in both air-to-air combat and now, without modification, in ground-based air defense.
The AIM-9X missile first locked onto an unmanned aerial system (UAS) before launch, and then intercepted and destroyed the UAS, which was flying 1,500 meters above ground level.
"This is another example of how Raytheon is leveraging its proven portfolio of products to fulfill gaps in other mission areas, such as ground-based air defense," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "AIM-9X can perform well against fighter aircraft, unmanned aerial systems or cruise missiles and retain the 'first look, first shot, first kill' reputation – in the air and from the ground."
This test also validated the operation and design of the Army's prototype IFPC Multi-Mission Launcher and demonstrated the surface launch performance of the AIM-9X Block II missile against a UAS.
AIM-9X is a infrared-tracking, short-range air-to-air missile that entered operational service in 2003; international deliveries began in 2005. Block II development began in 2011 and completed operational test and evaluation in early 2015. The US Navy declared initial operational capability with the Block II in March 2015.