Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: AIM-120C8
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-120D, formerly known as the AIM-120C8, is the latest development of the AMRAAM missile family designed and build by Raytheon and developed under P3I Phase 4 initiative. AIM-120D features a new navigation system and hardened design for internal weapons bay carriage. The United States Air Force (USAF) assessment of the AIM-120C variant on the F/A-22 Raptor aircraft determined that vibration levels in certain frequencies are harmful to the missile's electronics. AIM-120D AMRAAM missile variant tries to fix it. In April 2006 the USAF released that the AIM-120D was undergoing testing on the F-22 aircraft monitored by Raytheon at Edwards Air Force Base, California. AIM-120 new features encompass: an enhanced data link, improved kinematics and GPS Inertial Measurement Unit.
On 15 September 2006, Raytheon received a $113 million contract from the US Air Force for the supply of 12 AIM-120D AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented (AAVIs), 50 AIM-120D Captive Air Training Missile, 104 AIM-120C7 AMRAAM Air Vehicles, and 112 Non-Developmental Item, Airborne Instrumentation Units (NDI-AIUs). The contract also provided funds for the AIM-120D production transition with AIM-120D deliveries beginning December 2007 through January 2009. This contract was part of the AIM-120 Lot 20 order and the first production contract for the AIM-120D missile.
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