US Air Force’s quest for superior air-to-air missiles

Issue: 5-6/2020

The US Air Force is looking for “novel” approaches to a new class of faster and longer-range air-to-air missiles, according to a request for information released on May 5, 2020. The Air Force Research Laboratory seeks industry ideas by June18, 2020 for technologies applicable to new dogfight missiles, which presumably would improve or replace the current generation of AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder and complement the secretive AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile(JATM). In a Q&A to appear in the June issue of Air Force Magazine, Air Combat Command Chief General Mike Holmes said ”The Air Force needs fifth-generation weapons to match with its fifth-generation platforms like the F-22 and the F-35 and then we need weapons like AIM-260 JATM that can survive against those future threats and make it all the way to their target.”