U.S. approves sale of AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM to Netherlands

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of  AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) to Netherlands, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

The estimated cost of the deal is $53 million.

Netherlands has requested a possible sale of 26 AIM-120 C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 1 AMRAAM Guidance Section Spare (MDE items), 20 AMRAAM Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM).

Also included are missile containers, control section spares, weapon systems support, test equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, logistics, technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) currently maintains the AIM-120B version of the misssile in its inventory.

The principal contractor of the sale will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona.

AIM-120 AMRAAM:

AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM (pronounced “am-ram”), is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations.

Designed with 7-inch diameter instead of 8-inch diameter form-and-fit factors, and employing active transmit-receive radar guidance instead of semi-active receive-only radar guidance, it has the advantage of being a fire-and-forget weapon when compared to the previous generation Sparrowmissiles.

When an AMRAAM missile is being launched, NATO pilots use the brevity code Fox Three.

The AIM-120C-7 development began in 1998 and included improvements in homing and greater range. It was successfully tested in 2003 and is currently being produced for both domestic and foreign customers.

It helped the U.S. Navy replace the F-14 Tomcats with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets – the loss of the F-14’s long-range AIM-54 Phoenix missiles (already retired) is offset with a longer-range AMRAAM-D. The lighter weight of the advanced AMRAAM enables an F/A-18E/F pilot greater bring-back weight upon carrier landings.

DSCA



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