U.S. Approves Sale of AIM-120D Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile to United Kingdom

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of up to 200 AIM-120D Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to the United Kingdom for an estimated cost of $650 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 10, 2018.

The Government of the United Kingdom has requested to buy up to two hundred AIM-120D Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). Also included in this sale are missile containers; weapon system support equipment; support and test equipment; site survey; transportation; repair and return support; warranties; spare and repair parts; publications and technical documentation; maintenance and personnel training; training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, logistics, and technical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

According to a statement from DSCA, the proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security policies of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues.

The proposed sale will improve the Royal Air Force’s aircraft capabilities for mutual defense, regional security, force modernization, and U.S. and NATO interoperability. This sale will enhance the Royal Air Force’s ability to defend the United Kingdom against future threats and contribute to future NATO operations.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems Company, Tucson, AZ.

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.

The AIM-120D (P3I Phase 4, formerly known as AIM-120C-8) is an upgraded version of the AMRAAM with improvements in almost all areas, including 50% greater range (than the already-extended range AIM-120C-7) and better guidance over its entire flight envelope yielding an improved kill probability (Pk).

The missile has a two-way data link, more accurate navigation using a GPS-enhanced Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), an expanded no-escape envelope, and improved HOBS (High-Angle Off-Boresight) capability.



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