NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– The Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office (PMA-259) acquired Italy as its 28th Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9X International Partner Dec. 17, 2021.
The Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. notified the Navy International Programs Office that the Italian Air Force accepted and signed the Letter of Offer & Acceptance (LOA) provided by the United States Government.
Italian Air Force officials signed the LOA Nov. 19., and shortly after representatives from PMA-259 and Raytheon Missiles & Defense presented the AIM-9X Block II/II+ Classified Capabilities Briefing to Italian Headquarters Air Force Staff and F-35 Lightning II pilots.
This LOA consists of a modest quantity of AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles to complement its F-35 fleet. This procurement will be part of the U. S. Navy’s Lot 23 Production Contract, which will award in 2023 and deliver missiles in 2026.
Additionally, the Italian Navy, which also operates the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, has been provided with a separate LOA for Lot 23 AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles, and is expected to accept it soon. Italy will receive AIM-9X missiles that will employ the true fifth-generation Block II/II+ capabilities of Lock-On-After-Launch, Data Link, and Surface Attack.
Story by Katie Ursitti, PMA-259 Communications