The IRIS-T is an International initiative to replace current AIM-9L/M Sidewinder short-range, air-to-air missiles. The missile combines advanced aerodynamics and thrust vector control in a tail controlled airframe to achieve outstanding performance. It utilizes a solid-propellant rocket motor. IRIS-T features a roll-pitch (128x128) IR seeker with �90� look angle for high off-boresight angle missile engagements. Engagements against targets in the rear hemisphere can be done successfully with the missile locked-on target after launch. IRIS-T outstanding agility is the key to successfully engage highly maneuverable advanced aircraft.
Overall, IRIS-T delivers increased agility, target acquisition range, hit accuracy, a more effective warhead and considerably improved protection against countermeasures compared with the Sidewinder missile. The mass, length, diameter and interface of the IRIS-T missile are very close to its predecessor achieving a high degree of compatibility which is a must for the IRIS-T program. During the flight tests, the IRIS-T achieved direct impact on the target even with IRCM (IR countermeasures) presence. The highly maneuverable IRIS-T missile will be integrated onto Typhoon, Gripen, F-16, Tornado, and F/A-18 aircraft.