Israeli Air Force: Aim-9X order?

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Q: Why did the IsAF request a sale of 600 Aim-9Xs last year, instead of ordering the domestic Python V?

US to sell 600 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles to Israel amid Gaza crisis

The US State Department has approved the possible sale of AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles and associated equipment to Israel.

The Israeli Government has requested for 600 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II all-up-round missiles, 50 CATM-9X-2 captive air training missiles and four dummy air training missiles. The package, worth $544m, also includes missile support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, and related logistics and support services. Raytheon Missile Systems will serve as the prime contractor for the programme.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is an advanced infrared-tracking, short-range air-to-air missile. It is compatible with the F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and F-4 fighters, A-4, A-6 and AV-8B attack aircraft, and the AH-1 helicopter. In June, Raytheon won a contract to supply 485 AIM-9X Block II missiles for the US Navy, Air Force and the defence forces of Singapore, the Netherlands, Kuwait and Turkey.

Israel's request for the missiles comes at a time when it is engaged in aerial strikes in the Gaza Strip. The air strikes are said to have killed more than 175 Palestinians and made thousands flee their homes. On Monday, Israel shot down an unnamed aircraft launched from Gaza, with a Patriot missile near the city of Ashdod. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said: "The shooting down of a drone by our air defence system is an example of their efforts to strike at us in any way possible."

DSCA release

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Profile picture for user Nicolas10

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Probably because they will come for free, which wouldn't be the case with the Python V?


Profile picture for user swerve

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Israel funds a lot of its weapons purchases with US aid. A lot of that aid (originally 100%, later reduced) has to be spent in the USA. The importance - & restrictiveness - of this is such that Israel has, in the past, investigated the possibility of getting German submarines & Israeli-designed AFVs built in the USA, so that they could be bought with US aid money, thus freeing Israeli money for buying other stuff.

So sometimes Israel buys US weapons not because they're its first choice, but because they're effectively free.

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Israel has limited budget, exports and technical people it simply can't compete with US based firms in continuous advancements with large production batches and quick delivery. On top of that Israel has become high cost country.

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Perhaps the 9x suits more their needs , simply.

Profile picture for user MadRat

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Because it's compatible with OTS F-16, F-15, and F-35 systems available to it.

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When it is about cost nothing can beat the AIM-9X. Such a missile will last for 30 years and never used in anger. The Phyton V is just an expensive back-up for the worst case to have and an export item as well.