TAIPEI — Taiwan has secured the new AIM-9X Blk-2 Sidewinder air-to-air missile from the United States.

The July 1 contract notification entails 40 Raytheon-built AIM-9Xs and 40 AIM-9X training missiles, along with four spare propulsion steering sections containers.

The sale was made via the Foreign Military Sales program under the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Work is expected to be completed in March 2019, and the US Naval Air Systems Command is the contacting activity.

Taiwan's F-16A/B Block 20 fighter aircraft are undergoing a midlife upgrade (MLU), and the new AIM-9Xs will complement the F-16s' arsenal of AIM-7M Sparrow, AIM-9P/M and AMRAAM AIM-120 air-to-air missiles.

A Taiwan Ministry of National Defense source said the small order of only 40 AIM-9X missiles will be integrated and evaluated under the MLU program and will then be followed on by a larger order.