U.S. Approves Sale of AMRAAM-ER Anti-Air Missiles to Hungary

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 60 AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM­-ER anti-air missiles to Hungary, the U.S Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced.

The sale of the missiles and related equipment, worth an estimated cost of $230 million, is being executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. DSCA, which oversees the FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying the U.S. Congress of this possible sale on May 8.

The possible sale is in support of Hungary’s acquisition of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) air defense system. NASAMS is a distributed and networked medium to long-range air defense system developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and USA’s Raytheon. It is the first surface-based application for the AMRAAM air-to-air missiles and these new missiles are dubbed SLAMRAAM (Surfaced Launched AMRAAM).

The NASAMS system, equipped with AMRAAM-ER missiles, would provide a full range of protection to Hungary from imminent hostile cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), rotary-wing and fixed-wing threats.

AMRAAM-ER Firing from NASAMS Launcher
An AMRAAM-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER) missile being fired from a NASAMS launcher during an international flight test at the Andoya Space Center in Norway on Aug. 31, 2016. Raytheon Photo.

AMRAAM­-ER Sales Package for Hungary

The Government of Hungary has requested to buy sixty (60) AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM­ER missiles, and two (2) spare AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM-ER guidance sections. Also included are four (4) AMRAAM-ER training missiles (CATM-120C); missile containers; spare and repair parts; cryptographic and communication security devices; precision navigation equipment; software, site surveys; weapons system equipment and computer software support; publications and technical documentation; common munitions and test equipment; repair and return services and equipment; personnel training and training equipment; integration support and test equipment; and U.S. Government and contractor, engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The prime contractor and integrator of the possible sale will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ.

AMRAAM-ER

In 2015, Raytheon announced the development of the Extended Range upgrade to the NASAMS AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) missile offering the AMRAAM-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER). The missile is actually an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) using AMRAAM guidance.

With the ER variant, the engagement envelope is expanded with a 50 percent increase in maximum range and 70 percent increase in maximum altitude; range will extend to about 40 km.

Qatar was the first country to procure AMRAAM-ER missiles for the NASAMS system.

NASAMS

NASAMS (Norwegian/National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) is a distributed and networked medium to long-range air defense system developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway and Raytheon of USA.

NASAMS was the first surface-based application for the AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile). The missile itself is named SLAMRAAM (Surfaced Launched AMRAAM) and has a horizontal range of up to 25 km.

The system integrates U.S.-built AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel 3D air defense radar and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles with a Kongsberg developed Battle management C4I system called FDC, short for Fire Distribution Center. The FDC connected to an MPQ-64 radar forms an “Acquisition Radar and Control System” (ARCS).

NASAMS is operated by seven countries and has been integrated into the U.S.’ National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. In addition to the U.S., it is in service in Norway, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands and one undisclosed country (likely Chile). The systems are also ordered by Oman, Indonesia, Lithuania and Australia, and have received procurement approval in India.



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