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Grumman A-6E Intruder Armaments Fact Sheet

"In World War II it could take 9,000 bombs to hit a target the size of an aircraft shelter. In Vietnam, 300. Today we can do it with one laser-guided munition from an F-117........" USAF, Reaching Globally, Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force in the Gulf War (Sept. 1991), p. 55.

The Grumman A-6E Intruder is a very mission capable aircraft. Most of the information on this page was obtained from the Federation of American Scientists website. As you can see, the Intruder carries some way-cool stuff..

General Purpose Bombs

The MK-82 General Purpose Bomb is a free-fall, nonguided general purpose [GP] 500-pound bomb. The bomb is usually equipped with the mechanical M904 (nose) and M905 (tail) fuzes or the radar-proximity FMU-113 air-burst fuze. The MK 80 series Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bombs are used in the majority of bombing operations where maximum blast and explosive effects are desired. LDGP bombs are designed to be aerodynamically streamlined. Their cases are relatively light and approximately 45 percent of their complete weight is explosive. General purpose bombs may use both nose and tail fuzes and conical or retarded tail fins.

Bomb skids full of Mk82 Snakeyes ready to be loaded by ATKRON 95 ordnancemen on an Intruder
Bomb skids full of Mk82 Snakeyes ready to be loaded by ATKRON 95 ordnancemen on an Intruder

The MK-83 General Purpose Bomb is a free-fall, nonguided general purpose [GP] 1,000 pound bomb. The bomb can be fitted either with mechanical nose and tail fuzes or with a proximity fuze. During Desert Storm, this bomb was dropped mainly by Marine aircraft conducting close air support/battlefield air interdiction (CAS/Bal) missions. The MK 80 series Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bombs are used in the majority of bombing operations where maximum blast and explosive effects are desired. LDGP bombs are designed to be aerodynamically streamlined. Their cases are relatively light and approximately 45 percent of their complete weight is explosive. General purpose bombs may use both nose and tail fuzes and conical or retarded tail fins.

The MK-84 General Purpose Bomb is a free-fall, nonguided GP 2,000-pound bomb. The MK 80 series Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bombs are used in the majority of bombing operations where maximum blast and explosive effects are desired. LDGP bombs are designed to be aerodynamically streamlined. Their cases are relatively light and approximately 45 percent of their complete weight is explosive. General purpose bombs may use both nose and tail fuzes and conical or retarded tail fins. Normal fuzes are the mechanical M904 (nose) and the M905 (tail). Most of the over 12,000 MK-84s expended during Desert Storm were dropped by Air Force F-15Es, F-16s and F-111Fs; less than 1,000 of the total were dropped by Marine Corps tactical aircraft.

The General Purpose Bomb has a blast warhead that is designed to achieve target damage primarily from blast effect. When a high explosive detonates, it is converted almost instantly into a gas at very high pressure and temperature. Under the pressure of the gases thus generated, the weapon case expands and breaks into fragments. The air surrounding the casing is compressed and a shock (blast) wave is transmitted into it. The shock wave generated by the explosion is a compression wave, in which the pressure rises from atmospheric pressure to peak overpressure in a fraction of a microsecond.

Lizard 507 loaded down with 24 Mk82 500lb bombs - Persian Gulf 1988
Lizard 507 loaded down with 24 Mk82 500lb bombs - Persian Gulf

Laser Guided Bombs

The development of laser guided weapons has dramatically improved the accuracy of weapon guidance and delivery. With the assistance of build-up guidance kits, general GP bombs are turned into laser-guided bombs (LGBs).

500lb LGB loaded on Lizard 500 - Persian Gulf 1988
500lb LGB loaded on Lizard 500 - Persian Gulf 1988

The kits consist of a computer- control group (CCG), guidance canards attached to the front of the warhead to provide steering commands, and a wing assembly attached to the aft end to provide lift. LGBs are maneuverable, free-fall weapons requiring no electronic interconnect to the aircraft. They have an internal semi active guidance system that detects laser energy and guides the weapon to a target illuminated by an external laser source. The designator can be located in the delivery aircraft, another aircraft, or a ground source.

AGM-123 Skipper II

The Navy's AGM-123 Skipper II is a short range precision attack missile, consisting of a Paveway II laser guidance system and a small booster rocket attached to a Mk.83 bomb, developed by Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division NAWCWPNS China Lake, Skipper used the MK 78 SHRIKE, dual thrust motor for propulsion, with gravity bias incorporated for low level launch capability.

Skipper II can be released at stand off ranges that may reduce exposure of delivery aircraft to enemy air defense systems. This may decrease delivery aircraft vulnerability and increase survivability.

The AGM-123 Skipper II.gif

The AGM-123 "Skipper II" is a laser-guided standoff anti-ship missile based on existing missile and bomb components. The body of the Skipper is a standard Mk 83 1,000 lb. general purpose bomb. The rocket motor is derived from the AGM-45 Shrike anti-radar missile. The seeker is based on the laser-guided Paveway II series of guided precision bombs. The first combat seen by the Skipper was on April 18, 1988, when a US Navy A-6 Intruder struck the Iranian frigate Sahand with an AGM-123 after the ship engaged US Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz. The Sahand was also hit by an AGM-84 Harpoon and a surface-launched RGM-84. The Sahand did not survive this engagement.

The Skipper was initially operational in 1985.

AGM-65 Maverick

AGM-65 Maverick.jpg

The AGM-65 Maverick is a tactical, air-to-surface guided missile designed for close air support, interdiction and defense suppression mission. It provides stand-off capability and high probability of strike against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, transportation equipment and fuel storage facilities. Maverick was used during Operation Desert Storm and, according to the Air Force, hit 85 percent of its targets.

The Maverick has a cylindrical body, and either a rounded glass nose for electro-optical imaging, or a zinc sulfide nose for imaging infrared. It has long-chord delta wings and tail control surfaces mounted close to the trailing edge of the wing of the aircraft using it. The warhead is in the missile's center section. A cone-shaped warhead, one of two types carried by the Maverick missile, is fired by a contact fuse in the nose. The other is a delayed-fuse penetrator, a heavyweight warhead that penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.

A-6, A-10, F-15E and F-16 aircraft carry Mavericks. Since as many as six Mavericks can be carried by an aircraft, usually in three round, underwing clusters, the pilot can engage several targets on one mission. The missile also has "launch-and-leave" capability that enables a pilot to fire it and immediately take evasive action or attack another target as the missile guides itself to the target. Mavericks can be launched from high altitudes to tree-top level and can hit targets ranging from a distance of a few thousand feet to 13 nautical miles at medium altitude.

The Maverick variants include electro-optical/television (A and B), imaging infrared (D, F, and G), or laser guidance (E). The Air Force developed the Maverick, and the Navy procured the imaging infrared and the laser guided versions. The AGM-65 has two types of warheads, one with a contact fuse in the nose, the other a heavyweight warhead with a delayed fuse, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.

agm-65-maverick family.jpg
AGM 65 Maverick family
Maverick AGM-65A has an electro-optical television guidance system. After the protective dome cover is automatically removed from the nose of the missile and its video circuitry activated, the scene viewed by the guidance system appears on a cockpit television screen. The pilot selects the target, centers cross hairs on it, locks on, then launches the missile.

Maverick AGM-65B is similar to the A model, although the television guidance system has a screen magnification capability that enables the pilot to identify and lock on smaller and more distant targets.

Maverick AGM-65D has an imaging infrared guidance system, operated much like that of the A and B models, except that infrared video overcomes the daylight-only, adverse weather limitations of the other systems. The infrared Maverick D can track heat generated by a target and provide the pilot a pictorial display of the target during darkness and hazy or inclement weather.

Maverick AGM-65E is being adopted in the AGM-65E version as the Marine corps laser Maverick weapon for use from Marine aircraft for use against fortified ground installations, armored vehicles and surface combatants. Used in conjunction with ground or airborne laser designators, the missile seeker, searches a sector 7 miles across and over 10 miles ahead. If the missile loses laser spot it goes ballistic and flies up and over target -- the warhead does not explode, but becomes a dud.

Maverick AGM-65F (infrared targeting) used by the Navy has a larger (300 pound; 136 kg) penetrating warhead vice the 125 pound (57 kg) shaped charge used by Marine and Air Force) and infrared guidance system optimized for ship tracking.

Maverick AGM-65G model essentially has the same guidance system as the D, with some software modifications that track larger targets. The G model's major difference is its heavyweight penetrator warhead, while Maverick A, B and D models employ the shaped-charge warhead.

AGM-45 Shrike

The AGM-45 SHRIKE series weapon system is a passive air-to-ground missile whose mission is to home on and destroy or suppress radiating radar transmitters, directing both ground antiaircraft fire and surface-to-air missiles. The system consists of an AGM-45 guided missile, AERO-5A/B or LAU-118 launcher, and a launch aircraft configured with SHRIKE-unique avionics and a target identification acquisition system. The AGM-45 SHRIKE guided missile is composed of four major sections; guidance, warhead, control, and rocket motor. Along with the wing and fin assemblies, the sections make up the all-up-round missile. Several missile versions have been developed and produced to home on certain types of enemy radar transmitters. Each version consists of a guidance section specially developed and tuned to a specific frequency range unique to an individual threat radar. The AERO-5B-1 and LAU-118 series rail launchers are used to launch the SHRIKE missile. They provide the electrical and mechanical interface between the SHRIKE guided missile and the launch aircraft.

AGM-45 Shrike.jpg
AGM-45 Shrike

NOTS developed Shrike, the first successful anti radar missile, beginning in 1958 as a direct response to Fleet needs, and China Lake personnel took the missile to the carriers in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. During the Vietnam War, aircraft launched the first combat firing of the Shrike. Shrike was developed following many of the same principles that guided Sidewinder development: simplicity, reliability, maintainability, productibility, improvability. The AGM-45 was the first mass produced missile built specifically for the anti-radar mission, and more than 20,000 Shrikes were produced beginning in 1962. The Shrike's effectiveness was limited by the requirement that the missile be pointed at the intended target radar during launch, and that the Shrike will lose its lock if the radar ceases to radiate. The Shrike is now being replaced by the much improved AGM-88 HARM.

AGM-62 Walleye II

The AGM-62 Walleye.jpgs
The AGM-62 Walleye

The AGM-62 WALLEYE is a guided glide bomb designed to be delivered on a surface target from an attack aircraft. It is used primarily against targets such as fuel tanks, tunnels, bridges, radar sites, port facilities, and ammunition depots. The weapon system consists of the weapon, the attack aircraft, the AN/AWW-9B data link pod, and the OK-293/AWW control group. The WALLEYE is unique in that it has no propulsion section and must rely on its ability to glide to the target after release from the aircraft.

There are three basic series of the WALLEYE weapon. The original WALLEYE I Extended Range Data Link (ERDL) utilizes a tone data link system while the newer version utilizes the differential phase shift keyed digital data link, designed to prevent signal jamming. The WALLEYE II and WALLEYE II ERDL are greater in diameter, length, and weight than the WALLEYE I ERDL weapons. The AGM- 62 designation for Walleye nomenclature is not in wide use.

China Lake designed and developed the first precision-guided anti surface weapon, the Walleye (AGM-62) TV-guided glide bomb. Related to Walleye but canceled before completion was Condor (AGM-53), a rocket-powered TV-guided missile. Extended-range data links have also been developed for Walleye. China Lake also developed Bulldog (AGM-83), the first successful laser-guided missile, which was approved for service use in 1974 but canceled in favor of the Air Force Maverick.

In January 1963 a Walleye television glide bomb, released from a YA-4B, made a direct impact on its target at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake in the first demonstration of its automatic homing feature. A contract for production of the Walleye television homing glide bomb was issued to the Martin Marietta Corporation in January 1966. An outgrowth of in-house China Lake technology efforts, Walleye was fielded in 1967 and proved its unsurpassed accuracy in combat.

Originally developed by the Navy, the Air Force began Walleye combat tests in Vietnam during August 1967 that achieved excellent results in good visibility against targets that gave a strong contrast and were lightly defended. Later Walleye operations in more demanding conditions were less successful. It continued to be used in Southeast Asia, but due to its operating restrictions, cost, and the appearance of laser-guided bombs (LGB), comprised only a small fraction (6 percent) of the total number of PGMs employed in Vietnam.

AGM-84 Harpoon SLAM [Stand-Off Land Attack Missile]

The Harpoon missile provides the Navy and the Air Force with a common missile for air, ship, and submarine launches. The weapon system uses mid-course guidance with a radar seeker to attack surface ships. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness. The Harpoon missile and its launch control equipment provide the war fighter capability to interdict ships at ranges well beyond those of other aircraft.

AGM-84 Harpoon SLAM [Stand-Off Land Attack Missile].jpg
AGM-84 Harpoon SLAM [Stand-Off Land Attack Missile]

The Harpoon missile was designed to sink warships in an open-ocean environment. Other weapons (such as the Standard and Tomahawk missiles) can be used against ships, but Harpoon and Penguin are the only missiles used by the United States military with anti-ship warfare as the primary mission. Once targeting information is obtained and sent to the Harpoon missile, it is fired. Once fired, the missile flys to the target location, turns on its seeker, locates the target and strikes it without further action from the firing platform. This allows the firing platform to engage other threats instead of concentrating on one at a time.

ATKRON 95 Green Lizard A-6E Intruder loaded with AGM-84 Harpoon and 500lb LGB warshot - Persian Gulf 1988.jpg
Lizard 506 loaded with AGM-84 Harpoon and 500lb LGB warshot warshot

An appropriately configured HARPOON can be launched from an AERO-65 bomb rack, AERO-7/A bomb rack, MK 6 canister, MK 7 shock resistant canister, MK 12 thick wall canister, MK 112 ASROC launcher, MK 8 and MK 116 TARTAR launcher, or submarine torpedo tube launcher.

Submarines fire a capsule containing the Harpoon from their torpedo tubes. When the capsule breaches the surface, the top is blown off and the missile is launched. Aircraft launched Harpoons do not require a Booster. Depending upon launch conditions, the Harpoon engine generally will not start until after the missile is dropped from the wing. This allows firing from higher altitudes and longer range flights.

AGM-88 HARM

The AGM-88 HARM (high-speed anti radiation missile) is a supersonic air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems. The AGM-88 can detect, attack and destroy a target with minimum aircrew input. Guidance is provided through reception of signals emitted from a ground-based threat radar. It has the capability of discriminating a single target from a number of emitters in the environment. The proportional guidance system that homes in on enemy radar emissions has a fixed antenna and seeker head in the missile nose. A smokeless, solid-propellant, dual-thrust rocket motor propels the missile. The Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 and EA-6B have the capability to employ the AGM-88. With the retirement of the F-4, the F-16C is the only aircraft in the current Air Force inventory to use the AGM-88. The B version has an improved guidance section which incorporates an improved tactical software and electronically re programmable memory.

The AGM-88 missile was approved for full production by the Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council in March 1983. The Air Force equipped the F-4G Wild Weasel with the AGM-88 to increase the F-4G's lethality in electronic combat. The missile worked with the APR-47 radar attack and warning system on the aircraft. The missile is operationally deployed throughout the Air Force and in full production as a joint US Air Force-US Navy project. HARM continues to prove its value against continuously emitting threat radar. Over 80 missiles were fired from USN/USMC aircraft both during and post Desert Fox.

The AGM-88A/B HARM is an evolution of anti-radiation missile weapon systems, SHRIKE and STANDARD ARM. HARM incorporates the more desirable features of each while providing additional capabilities that enhance operational effectiveness. Although generally similar in appearance and mission to the AGM-45 Shrike, produced more than 25 years prior to the AGM-88, the AGM-88 HARM is several feet longer than an AGM-45, has a slightly-enlarged diameter a foot back from the nose, and has a slightly greater diameter overall. The AGM-45 also has an RF window/slot on the side, not present on the AGM-88.

The system consists of the guided missile, LAU-118(V)1/A launcher, launch aircraft, and HARM peculiar avionics. The weapon system has the capability of detecting, acquiring, displaying, and selecting a radiating threat and launching a missile or missiles. The HARM Missile receives target parameters from the launch aircraft prior to launch. The HARM Missile uses these parameters and relevant attitude data to process incoming RF energy to acquire and guide the HARM Missile to the desired target. The HARM missile has a terminal homing capability that provides a launch and leave capability for the launch aircraft. Additional unique features include the high speed, low smoke, rocket motor and seeker sensitivity that enable the missile to easily attack side lobes and back lobes of an emitter.

MK77 750lb Napalm

A fire bomb is a thin skinned container of fuel gel designed for use against dug-in troops, supply installations, wooden structures, and land convoys. The MK 77 500-pound fire bomb is the only fire bomb now in service. Fire bombs rupture on impact and spread burning fuel gel on surrounding objects. MK 13 Mod 0 igniters are used to ignite the fuel gel mixture upon impact.

The containers of napalm bomber are very light and fabricated of aluminum, with a capacity for about 75 gallons of combustible gel. They lack stabilizing fins, and consequently acquire a tumbling motion on being dropped that contributes to the scattering of the combustible gel over a wide area.

Napalm is a mixture of benzene (21%), gasoline (33%), and polystyrene (46%). Benzene is a normal component of gasoline (about 2%). The gasoline used in napalm is the same leaded or unleaded gas that is used in automobiles.

The Marine Corps dropped all of the approximately 500 MK-77s used in the Gulf War. They were delivered primarily by the AV-8 Harriers from relatively low altitudes. MK-77s were used to ignite the Iraqis oil-filled fire trenches, which were part of barriers constructed in southern Kuwait.

Zuni 5.0-Inch [130 mm] Rocket

The unguided Zuni 5.0-Inch [130 mm] Rocket was originally developed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground applications, but is currently used almost exclusively in the later role. The rockets can also be used to illuminate and mark ground targets, and deliver chaff countermeasure systems. The rockets are assembled into complete all-up-rounds to deliver a variety of payloads. The type of fuse and warhead combination is determined by the tactical requirement.

The Zuni unguided rocket uses folding fins for aerodynamic stability. The 26.7 kilogram Mk-16 Mod 3 motor incorporates a double-base solid propellant with a burn time of 1.2 to 1.5 seconds, depending on ambient temperature. The motor is 1.95 m long with a diameter of 130 mm. In the early 1970s a PIP was conducted to develop and qualify a 5.0 inch rocket motor with improved accuracy and performance. DT of the Mk-71 Mod 1 was completed and a release for production was granted in February 1973. Operational Test (OT) was conducted in 1972-73. Full production of the Mk-71 Mod 1 motor began in September 1973. The rocket motor Mk 71 Mod 1 consists of a motor tube and contact band assembly, the igniter, the stabilizing rod assembly, the charge support spring, spacer and cup assembly, the propellant grain assembly, the seal ring, the nozzle and fin assembly, the radiation hazard barrier and shielding band. The Mk 71 Mod 1 motor is classified as �HERO safe ordnance� when the radiation hazard barrier and shielding band are in place.

AIM-120 AMRAAM

The AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) is a new generation air-to-air missile. It has an all-weather, beyond-visual-range capability and is scheduled to be operational beyond 2000. AMRAAM is a supersonic, air launched, aerial intercept, guided missile employing active radar target tracking, proportional navigation guidance, and active Radio Frequency (RF) target detection. It employs active, semi-active, and inertial navigational methods of guidance to provide an autonomous launch and leave capability against single and multiple targets in all environments.

The AMRAAM weighs 340 pounds and uses an advanced solid-fuel rocket motor to achieve a speed of Mach 4 and a range in excess of 30 miles. In long-range engagements AMRAAM heads for the target using inertial guidance and receives updated target information via data link from the launch aircraft. It transitions to a self-guiding terminal mode when the target is within range of its own monopulse radar set. The AIM-120 also has a "home-on-jam" guidance mode to counter electronic jamming. With its sophisticated avionics, high closing speed, and excellent end-game maneuverability, chances of escape from AMRAAM are minimal. Upon intercept an active-radar proximity fuse detonates the 40-pound high-explosive warhead to destroy the target. At closer ranges AMRAAM guides itself all the way using its own radar, freeing the launch aircraft to engage other targets.

AIM-9 Sidewinder

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile carried by fighter aircraft. It has a high-explosive warhead and an active infrared guidance system. The Sidewinder was developed by the US Navy for fleet air defense and was adapted by the U.S. Air Force for fighter aircraft use. Early versions of the missile were extensively used in the Southeast Asian conflict.

In September 1958 Chinese Nationalist F-86s fired the first Sidewinder air-to-air missiles to down 11 communist Chinese MiG-17s over the Formosa Straits. Until that time, aircraft defensive means where primarily limited to pilots and tail gunners firing small caliber ammunition in dog-fight situations.

AIM-9 Sidewinder being loaded on a ATKRON 95 Grumman A-6e Intruder.jpg
AIM-9 Sidewinder being loaded on a ATKRON 95 Grumman A-6e Intruder

AIM 9 Sidewinder Variants

The development process has produced increased capabilities with each missile modification.

The AIM-9A Sidewinder, prototype of the Sidewinder, was first fired successfully in September 1953. The initial production version, designated AIM-9B, entered the Air Force inventory in 1956 and was effective only at close range. It could not engage targets close to the ground, nor did it have nighttime or head-on attack capability. These shortcomings were eliminated on subsequent versions.

The AIM-9G Sidewinder provided the capability to lock on and launch against a target offset from the axis of the launch aircraft.

The AIM-9H Sidewinder configuration replace vacuum tubes with solid-state modules and a thermal battery replaced the turbo-alternator. The AIM-9H was configured with a continuous-rod bundle warhead.

The AIM-9J Sidewinder, a conversion of the AIM-B and E models, has maneuvering capability for dog fighting, and greater speed and range, giving it greater enhanced aerial combat capability. Deliveries began in 1977 to equip the F-15 and other Sidewinder-compatible aircraft.

The AIM-9L Sidewinder added a more powerful solid-propellant rocket motor as well as tracking maneuvering ability. Improvements in heat sensor and control systems have provided the AIM-9L missile with an all-aspect attack capability and improved guidance characteristics. The L model was the first Sidewinder with the ability to attack from all angles, including head-on. An improved active optical fuse increased the missile's lethality and resistance to electronic countermeasures. A conical scan seeker increased seeker sensitivity and improved tracking stability. The AIM-9L is configured with an annular blast fragmentation warhead. Production and delivery of the AIM-9L began in 1976.

The AIM-9M Sidewinder missile utilizes a guidance control section with counter-countermeasures and improved maintainability and producibility. The AIM-9M is configured with an annular blast fragmentation warhead.

The AIM-9P Sidewinder, an improved version of the J model, has greater engagement boundaries, enabling it to be launched farther from the target. The more maneuverable P model also incorporated improved solid-state electronics that increased reliability and maintainability. Deliveries began in 1978.

The AIM-9P-1 Sidewinder has an active optical target detector instead of the infrared influence fuze; the AIM-9P-2 added a reduced-smoke motor. The most recently developed version, the AIM-9P-3, combined both the active optical target detector and the reduced-smoke motor. It also has added mechanical strengthening to the warhead as well as the guidance and control section. The improved warhead uses new explosive material that is less sensitive to high temperature and has a longer shelf life.

The AIM-9M Sidewinder, currently the only operational variant, has the all-aspect capability of the L model, but provides all-around higher performance. The M model has improved defense against infrared countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. These modifications increase ability to locate and lock-on a target and decrease the missile's chances for detection. Deliveries of the M model began in 1983.

The AIM-9M-9 Sidewinder has expanded infrared counter measures detection circuitry.

The AIM-9X Sidewinder Air-to-Air missile program will develop a short range heat seeking weapon to be employed in both offensive and defensive counter-air operations. Offensively, the weapon will assure that US and combined air forces have the ability project the necessary power to insure dominant maneuver. In the defensive counter-air role, the missile system will provide a key capability for force protection. The multi-service Air Intercept Missile (AIM-9X Sidewinder) development will field a high off-boresight capable short range heat seeking missile to be employed on US Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps fighters. The missile will be used both for offensive and defensive counter-air operations as a short range, launch and leave air combat missile that uses infra red guidance. The AIM-9X will complement longer range radar guided missiles such as the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).