The Air Force Friday successfully live-fired an Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) with a Nammo-manufactured rocket motor, clearing the last hurdle for prime contractor Raytheon [RTN] to introduce the revamped missile into inventory.
Air Force spokeswoman Chrissy Cuttita confirmed the successful test, adding an AIM-120C7 AMRAAM air vehicle instrumented was launched from an F-16 at Eglin AFB, Fla. Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick said Tuesday Nammo’s rocket motors would be also be installed on the AIM-120D as well as the AIM-120C7. Nammo is a Norwegian firm.
“Preliminary inputs from the test team are that the launch was successful and all test objectives were met,” Cuttita said.
Raytheon’s AMRAAM has been plagued with faulty rocket motors supplied by original subcontractor ATK [ATK], causing Raytheon to fall behind its delivery schedule. The Air Force in February 2012 suspended $621 million in payments to Raytheon due to late AMRAAM deliveries. Raytheon then enlisted Nammo’s help as a second source of rocket motors.
The Air Force restored payments after Raytheon and the service revised its AMRAAM delivery schedule (Defense Daily, Jan. 3). Gulick said in a Jan. 4 email Raytheon is scheduled to deliver approximately 650 AIM-120Ds to the Air Force and Navy and approximately 900 AIM-120C7s to international customers between January and June 2014, which will get the two parties back on the original delivery schedule.