The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has carried out captive-carry trials of the Rafael Python 4 infra-red-guided short-range air-to-air missile (AAM) on a McDonnell Douglas F-18 fighter. The missile was carried on the wingtip and outboard wing stations on the aircraft. The RAAF has a requirement to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder with an advanced short-range AAM. Rafael is competing with Matra British Aerospace Dynamics which is offering its Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile. This has also been mounted on an RAAFF-18 for form and fit trials. Hughes is also considering whether to make a late bid with its AIM-9X Evolved Sidewinder, although this would require the RAAF to delay its proposed in-service date for the weapon.
Source: Flight International