The US F-22 stealth fighter launched the world’s most modern heat-seeking missile AIM-9X Sidewinder worth nearly $ 400,000, to bring down the Chinese airship.
A US F-22 fighter jet took off from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia on February 4 to shoot down a Chinese airship over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with a Sidewinder missile.
“The airship used by China to spy on strategic locations in the continental United States was shot down over US territorial waters,” the Pentagon confirmed.
Two US F-22 fighters were deployed to shoot down Chinese airships bearing the designations “‘FRANK01” and “‘FRANK02’. This is the most modern stealth fighter in the US and can reach a maximum speed of about 2,400 km / h and a ceiling of nearly 20 km.
The F-22 shot down the Chinese airship with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, a high-tech weapon that can lock onto a target just by following the pilot’s line of sight. Sidewinder missiles can reach a maximum speed of more than 3,000 km / h, and each cost about 380,000 USD.
As one of the world’s most modern 5th generation stealth fighters, the F-22 is picky about new weapons because its control and control system was developed decades ago, must not be an open system, and it is very difficult to integrate new types of missiles.
The F-22 is typically armed with air-to-air weapons, formerly primarily AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. The 90th Fighter Squadron and the 525th Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Air Wing were the first F-22 units to be equipped with the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile in 2016, although the missile has already been used on fighter jets. The American F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 Hornet years earlier.