Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The AIM-120 AMRAAM is a medium-range, air-to-air missile designed to meet the requirements of the United States and allied nations. The AIM-120 missile is faster, smaller and lighter than its predecessor the AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range missile and also has improved capabilities against low-altitude targets. AMRAAM incorporates active radar seeker with mid-course inertial navigation making it less dependent on aircraft's fire control radar. That capability enables simultaneous AMRAAM launching against different targets. For better performance AMRAAM can receive target location updates from the radar system of the launch aircraft. It has a blast fragmentation warhead detonated by a proximity fuse.
The combat proven AIM-120 AMRAAM missile was employed during military campaigns over Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. The Air Forces of 18 nations operate the AMRAAM missile. The AMRAAM missile is operational on the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-4F, JAS-39, Sea-Harrier and Tornado aircraft. Raytheon is integrating the AIM-120 on the Eurofighter-Typhoon, F/A-22A and Harrier II+. AIM-120's flexibility concept allows it to be integrated on ground systems becoming a surface-to-air missile. It is being integrated on Norway's NASAMS, Hawk-AMRAAM and HMMWV Surface-to-Air Systems.
The AIM-120B was introduced in 1994 as an improved model. AIM-120B missile is reprogrammable not requiring hardware changes to change its software. Such capability allows software updates with ease. The AIM-120A missile is not reprogrammable. As of 2014, the AIM-120B is being phased out replaced by the C and D variants.
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