The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 160 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) with support to Japan under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program for an estimated cost of $317 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 16, 2019. DSCA, as part of the U.S. Department of Defense, provides financial and technical assistance, transfer of defense matériel, training and services to allies, and promotes military-to-military contacts.
The Government of Japan has requested to buy one hundred sixty (160) AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and one (1) AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section. Also included are containers, weapon support and support equipment, spare and repair parts, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The proposed sale of these missiles will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there, said a DSCA statement.
The prime contractor Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona.
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 AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles.
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.