The new AIM-9X Sidewinder dogfighting missile is ready for a production go-ahead from the Pentagon, according to the missile's manufacturer, Raytheon.

AIM-9X is the latest version of the missile that has been in service since the 1960s and features a new imaging seeker.

The missile is on track for the US Defence Acquisition Board to review, and low rate initial production is planned for September, says Raytheon.

Raytheon also says the AIM-9X offers more than just heat -seeking capability, with its 'smart' sensor able to differentiate between parts of aircraft.

Bill West, the company's business development manager for air-to-air weapons, says a key feature is the high off-bore sight capability of the seeker.

"High off-bore sight ability and agility provide the warfighter with a 'first look, first kill' dogfight performance," says West.

Source: Flight Daily News