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Australia: possible sale of AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles


The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $240.5 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 12, 2019.


Australia Possible AIM 120C 7 advanced medium range air to air missiles An AIM-120 AMRAAM being loaded onto an F-16CJ (Picture source: US Air Force)


The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM), is a modern American beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with a 7-inch (180mm) diameter form-and-fit factor, and employing active transmit-receive radar guidance instead of semi-active receive-only radar guidance, it has the advantage of being a fire-and-forget weapon when compared to the previous generation Sparrow missiles. When an AMRAAM missile is launched, NATO pilots use the brevity code Fox Three.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy up to 108 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); six AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented; and six spare AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance sections. Also included are containers, weapon system support equipment, support and test equipment, site survey, transportation, repair and return warranties, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, maintenance, personnel training, and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representative engineering, logistics, and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics support. These items are in support of Australia’s purchase of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). The estimated total program cost is $240.5 million.

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. 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 the acquisition of a ground based air and missile defense capability. The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona. There are no known offset arrangements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The AMRAAM is the world's most popular beyond-visual-range missile, and more than 14,000 have been produced for the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and 33 international customers.