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The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air
missile carried by fighter aircraft and recently, certain
gunship helicopters. It is named after the Sidewinder snake,
which detects its prey via body heat and also because of the
peculiar snake-like path of flight the early versions had
when launched.The Sidewinder was the first truly effective
air-to-air missile, widely imitated and copied; yet its variants
and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces
after 5 decades. When a Sidewinder missile is being launched,
NATO pilots use the brevity code Fox Two in radio communication,
as with all rear-aspect, or "heat seeking" missiles.