Switzerland Takes Delivery of AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missile
Switzerland Takes Delivery of AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missile

Switzerland Takes Delivery of AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missile

The Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurement (armasuisse) has accepted a further delivery of the radar-guided missiles model AIM-120 C-7 approved with the 2017 armament programme. The transport took place today on board an US Air Force Lockheed C-130J. The aircraft landed at the Payerne Military Air Base in the morning. The number of ordered AIM-120 C-7 guided missiles is classified as confidential military information. In Switzerland, the armament of the F/A-18C/D combat aircraft consists of a radar-guided missile for medium distances (AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM), an infrared guided missile for short distances (AIM-9X) and a 20-mm on-board gun. The ordered AIM-120 C-7 guided missiles can also be used by the F-35A after decommissioning of the F/A-18.

The delivered radar-air-to-air-guided missile AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) is a latest generation model. It is intended for the armament of the combat aircraft F/A-18 of the Swiss Air Force and replaces and supplements in part the predecessor model AIM-120 B purchased with the 1992 (RP92) armament programme.
The guided missile will be primarily used at distances outside the field of vision and is capable of engaging with the target in all weather conditions. It has a data link to the F/A-18 carrier aircraft for the target briefing in the first flying phase as well as via own radar – what is known as the seeker head – for independent detection or tracking of the target in the final flying phase. The new radar-guided missile of the Swiss Air Force is in use in large numbers in the US armed forces and other air forces.

Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurement takes delivery of AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missile. (Photo by armasuisse)

The delivered guided missiles are a part of the project approved with the 2017 Armed Forces dispatch “Extension of the period of use of F/A-18 combat aircraft”. In addition to the guided missiles, other procurements will be carried out in this project, such as replacement and renewal of communications systems and night vision aiming devices and adjustments to the aircraft software
a structural reorganisation programme
adjustments to simulators as well as
a logistics package
The overall package approved by Parliament has a volume of 450 million Swiss Francs.

The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM, pronounced AM-ram), is an American beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. It uses active transmit-receive radar guidance instead of semi-active receive-only radar guidance. It is a fire-and-forget weapon, unlike the previous generation Sparrow missiles which needed guidance from the firing aircraft. When an AMRAAM missile is launched, NATO pilots use the brevity code “Fox Three. With more than 30 years of design, upgrades, testing and production, the AIM-120 missile continues to meet warfighter requirements in all weather and beyond visual range. Its capabilities have been fully demonstrated in over 4,900 test shots and more than 13 air-to-air combat victories.

witzerland fires an AIM-120C7 AMRAAM missile from an F-18 as part of the international Thor’s Hammer exercises at a range in Sweden. (Photo by Raytheon Technologies)