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Italy to Purchase RTX-Made AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles for $90.6M

AIM-9X Sidewinder

Italy plans to acquire $90.6 million worth of AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles from the United States.

On Friday, the Department of State approved the proposed foreign military sale of missiles and related equipment to the Italian government. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress about the potential weapons sale.

The approval was made after the State Department determined that the purchase would not harm U.S. defense readiness and would improve the security of Italy, a NATO ally.

“The proposed sale will improve Italy’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing training missiles and guidance units for Italy’s F-35 fleet in support of NATO’s defense mission,” according to the DSCA press release. 

The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile can be used on numerous modern aircraft, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, E/A-18G Growler and all variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It can perform air-to-air and surface-launch missions. 

The Block II features a digital ignition safety device for improved handling and in-flight safety.

RTX, which manufactures the missiles, will serve as the principal contractor for the FMS. 

Italy’s planned purchase also includes AIM-9X Block II+ tactical guidance units and captive air training missiles.

The U.S. also approved the Italian government’s purchase of AIM-120C-8 missiles for $69.3 million in February.

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