Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: AIM-120C5, AIM-120C7 and RB99
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-120C missile is the latest AMRAAM variant and is reprogrammable like the AIM-120B. The AIM-120C has smaller control surfaces to fulfill F/A-22's internal carriage requirements and also features an improved warhead. The AIM-120C missile has been sold successfully to many countries in two main variants the AIM-120C5 and the AIM-120C7. Beginning in 2008 the AIM-120C was replaced by the AIM-120D as the standard production model for the AMRAAM missile.
On 11 August 2004, the UK MoD awarded Raytheon a $144 million contract to provide AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM missiles as well as associated equipment and services. The contract funds a period of 10 years with options to increase it to 25 years. The AMRAAM is an interim solution to the BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile) program which would be fulfilled with MBDA's Meteor long range missile.
As of April 2005, the US Air Force and US Navy AMRAAM missile production was expected to conclude by 2007. In December 2004 Raytheon received the last known contract from the US Air Force worth $200 million for the follow-on production of 434 additional missiles. On 29 September 2006, the US Air Force awarded Raytheon a $66 million procurement contract for 123 AIM-120C5 missiles, related services and equipment on behalf of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Deliveries were scheduled for completion November 2008 with the United States receiving 9 missiles.
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