The U.S State Department has approved a potential $380 million sale of up to 120 Raytheon Technologies [RTX] AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment to Belgium.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said that it notified Congress of the possible sale on Nov. 8.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” DSCA said. “The proposed sale will improve Belgium’s capability to meet current and future threats by maintaining its F-16 and F-35 fleets in combat-ready status and providing a credible deterrent to regional threats.”
Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., is to supply and support the missiles.
Other countries approved for AMRAAM sales this year include Bulgaria, Norway, Japan, Germany, and Kuwait.
Ukraine’s demands for weapons since Russia’s Feb. 24 assault may point to the need for the United States and its allies to invest in diverse production lines and ramping up capacity for producing air-to-air missiles and energetics for munitions, a U.S. Air Force official said in September (Defense Daily, Sept. 27).
“I would offer that an investment in increasing capacity in air-to-air missiles may result in the future with inefficiencies where I have two lines that are now only operating at 50 or 60 percent capacity, instead of one line that’s operating at 92 percent capacity, but I think that investment is in our interest, given today’s environment,” said Jim Dunn, the Air Force’s director of policy and programs for international affairs.