U.S. Approves Sale of 32 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missiles to Japan

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 32 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Japan for an estimated cost of $63 million.

The sale will be executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 26.

The Government of Japan has requested to buy 32 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM and one AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM guidance section spare. Also included are containers, 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 DSCA statement said that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. The statement added that the sale is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability.

The proposed sale of missiles will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there. Japan already has AMRAAM in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing the additional missiles into its armed forces.

The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, AZ.


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.

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