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Weapon - Air-to-Air - AIM-9B Sidewinder

Weapon Stats:

Speed: Mach1.7
Range: 0.9 - 4.8 km, 0.6 - 3 miles
Length: 2.83 m, 9.28 ft
Diameter: 12.7 cm, 0.42 ft
Weight: 70 kg, 154 lb
Explosives: Blast-fragmentation
Contents: 4.5 kg (10 lb) Blast-fragmentation warhead
Propulsion: Thiokol Mk 17 solid-fuel rocket

AIM-9B Sidewinder

Status: Out of service
Category: Air-to-Air

The original version of the American AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red air-to-air missile was built in 3 almost identical versions (AIM-9A/B/C), with the majority of missiles produced being of the -9B variant.

The AIM-9B used a 4.5 kg (10 lb) blast-fragmentation warhead. This was triggered by an IR proximity or contact fuze, and had an effective kill radius of about 9 m (30 ft). The uncooled PbS seeker of these early missiles had a 4° angle of view and a tracking rate of 11°/s, and the missile itself could turn at 12G. Propulsion was provided by a Thiokol MK 17 solid-fuel rocket motor (17.8 kN (4000 lb) thrust for 2.2 s), which could propel the missile to a speed of Mach 1.7 above launch speed. Because of the limitations of the seeker, the AIM-9B could only be used for tail-on engagements of non-manoeuvering targets and was very susceptible to other heat sources (sun, ground reflections, etc).

The AIM-9B has been known to have been fitted to the Sabre and Mirage III. It has not been confirmed that a version of the AIM-9B was also known as the V1.


AIM-9B Sidewinder on Mirage IIICZ 804. V3B top, V3A middle and  AIM-9B bottom.