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366th Fighter Wing receives new weapon for F-15E

Airman Austin Reed, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew member, inspects an AIM-9X Sidewinder March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is the newest variant of the AIM-9 Sidewinder series.

Airman Austin Reed, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew member, inspects an AIM-9X Sidewinder March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is the newest variant of the AIM-9 Sidewinder series.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief, locks an AIM-9X Sidewinder onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase pilots abilities to track their enemies.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief, locks an AIM-9X Sidewinder onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase pilots abilities to track their enemies.

Weapons loadcrew members from the 366th Maintenance Squadron load an AIM-9X Sidewinder onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Using the upgraded missile will strengthen the skills of F-15E Strike Eagle pilots by improving flight performance.

Weapons loadcrew members from the 366th Maintenance Squadron load an AIM-9X Sidewinder onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Using the upgraded missile will strengthen the skills of F-15E Strike Eagle pilots by improving flight performance.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief, prepares an AIM-9X Sidewinder to load onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase pilots abilities to track their enemies.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief, prepares an AIM-9X Sidewinder to load onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase pilots abilities to track their enemies.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief, prepares an AIM-9X Sidewinder to load onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase pilots abilities to track their enemies.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief, prepares an AIM-9X Sidewinder to load onto an F-15E Strike Eagle March 1, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The AIM-9X is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase pilots abilities to track their enemies.

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 366th Fighter Wing’s F-15E Strike Eagles are receiving a weapon upgrade to enhance mission capabilities.

The AIM-9X side-winder is a short-range, air-to-air missile that will increase fighter pilot’s abilities to track their enemies.

“The AIM-9LM was our basic heat-seeking missile across the Air Force for years,” said Master Sgt. Zachary Payne, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons maintenance element NCOIC. “Our new AIM-9X has more maneuverability in the air, so it gives our pilots more range of motion while dog-fighting with enemy aircraft.”

The elite design of the AIM-9X munition is aimed to advance pilot’s ability to target enemy aircraft.

“They can actually track through their helmet,” said SSgt. Cameron Delsol, 366th Maintenance Squadron weapons loadcrew team chief. “All they have to do is look around and they have the ability to lock on a target.”

The upgraded missile is expected to benefit the Air Force with its improved flight performance.

“It will definitely impact the squadron, as there are multiple aircraft that can employ the AIM-9X,” said a 389th Fighter Squadron pilot. “It’s going to increase the squadron’s lethality and survivability as a whole.”

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