The State Department approved the sale of up to 108 Raytheon [RTN] AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment for an estimated sale price of $240.5 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the FMS on Tuesday.
In addition to the 108 missiles, the Australia approval includes six AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented, six spare guidance sections, containers, support equipment, spare and repair parts and other logistical support.
In 2017, the Australian Defense Force (ADF) chose Raytheon Australia to install the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) as its short-range, ground-based air defense system, originally developed for the Norwegian Air Force by Raytheon and Norwegian firm Kongsberg. This sale is in support of that purchase.
“This sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Western Pacific,” DSCA said in a statement. “It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
“This proposed sale is in support of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Project LAND 19 Phase 7B for acquisition of a ground based air and missile defense capability. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” DSCA added.
The AMRAAM AIM-120 C-7 variant has range and homing improvements over older models while the AIM-120D further improves the missile’s navigation, kinematics, lethality, and has hardware and software updates to enhance electronic protection capabilities. The U.S. Navy finished initial operating capability (IOC) with the 120D in January 2015.
The AMRAAM is in use in the U.S. Navy and Air Force with the F/A-18C/D Hornet, E/F Super Hornet, F-15, F-16, and F-22. It is also in use by NATO allies with the AV-8B Harrier, Eurofighter 2000, F-1C, F-4, F-15, F-16, Hornet, and JAS-39 aircraft.