After the initial AIM-9X missile, which cost $ 380,000, missed the target, the US F-16 had to fire another AIM-9X missiles in order to destroy the mysterious object in Lake Huron.
“The F-16 fighter’s initial AIM-9X missile was off-target. When the second missile struck its target, “On February 13, an unidentified US official with knowledge of the situation said, “The shooting down of a bizarre flying object over Lake Huron located between the US-Canada border the day before.”
Two additional unidentified individuals concurred with the intelligence but did not specify where the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile exploded in midair or touched down after the shot was not successful.
Social media images from the afternoon of February 12 show a pair of F-16s from the 148th Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force returning to base without an AIM-9X missile in the underwing mount.
When announcing the downing of this unusual object, the White House and the Pentagon made no mention of the AIM-9X missile’s miss. On February 12, General Glen VanHerck, head of the US military’s Northern Command, acknowledged that the fighter had trouble recognising and tracking the target due to its small size.
On February 11, the US sent out F-16 and F-22 jets to fire down two targets over the border in Canada and Alaska, and another target on Lake Huron the next day. According to US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, neither the identity of the three foreign objects that were shot down nor their origin or mode of operation have been established.
Some F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter pilots reportedly noticed “interference” with the aircraft’s sensors when following unusual flying objects, according to an anonymous official. It is unclear what technology that flying object possesses that could affect the US stealth fighter’s sensor system.
The Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile, which saw service with the US Army in 2003, has been upgraded to the AIM-9X. The focal plane array thermal imaging probe and two vector thrusters on the AIM-9X are coupled to the pilot’s helmet-mounted sighting system (JHMCS), which enables the target to be struck at an angle of almost 90 degrees to the aircraft’s nose.
Each AIM-9X has a maximum range of 35 km and costs about 380,000 USD, used in the air forces of 40 countries, mainly members of NATO.
When the AIM-9X missile narrowly missed the Syrian Su-22 bomber during the 2017 confrontation, American military analysts were shocked.
The Soviet-made heat trap fired by the Su-22 caused the American F/A-18E fighter to track it as it neared the objective at 800 metres away and fired an AIM-9X missile. In order to shoot down the Syrian bomber, the American pilot then had to fire the pricey AIM-120C AMRAAM medium-range missile.