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Sidewinder Overview Part II: AIM-9D/G/H

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If you missed Part I, I suggest you check out my last post for information on the AIM-9B.

D to the G to the H... The AIM-9B did not enjoy much success in the skies over Vietnam. Even prior to its poor showing in South East Asia the Navy was already working on a replacement and developed the AIM-9D. Though the Air Force and the Navy had jointly operated the AIM-9B, the Delta would be the first in a series of Sidewinders that would only be compatible with Navy aircraft. 

The external differences between the AIM-9B and D are obvious in comparison. The Delta's new optical system was more compact, allowing it to fit in a ogival nose section and the fins were much larger. It was given a smaller magnesium fluoride dome window and a nitrogen cooling system. The missile was more maneuverable and boasted a higher tracking rate granting it a much better kill probability over its predecessor.  The AIM-9D would enter Navy service in 1965 and would see extensive use in Vietnam accounting for at…