The Netherlands has requested a potential $60 million purchase of Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, with the weapons to equip its Lockheed Martin F-16AM fighters.

Detailed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 17 October, the possible Foreign Military Sales deal would cover the delivery of 28 all-up missiles, plus training rounds and associated equipment.

"The Royal Netherlands Air Force is modernising its fighter aircraft to better support the Netherlands' air defence needs," the DSCA says.

Acquiring the new-generation AIM-9X will also enhance the service's interoperability with the US Air Force, it adds. The deal still requires approval from US Congress.

Separately, Lockheed expects to deliver the Netherland's first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter before the end of this year. One of two conventional take-off and landing aircraft on order to support US-led initial operational test and evaluation activities, AN-1 has already performed flight-test activities from the company's Fort Worth final assembly site in Texas.

Source: Flight International