Aerial Warfare

US State Department Approves Sale of AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles to Denmark

AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)
AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Denmark of AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and related elements of logistics and program support for an estimated cost of $215.5 million. The Government of Denmark has requested to buy eighty-four (84) AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and three (3) AIM-120 AMRAAM guidance sections. Also included is the following non-MDE: spare AMRAAM control sections; containers and support equipment; munitions support and support equipment; spare parts, consumables, accessories, and repair and return support; weapons software and support equipment; classified software delivery and support; transportation support and other related elements of logistics and program support.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. The proposed sale will improve Denmark’s capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring it has modern, capable air-to-air munitions. The sale will further advance the already high level of Danish Air Force interoperability with U.S. Joint Forces and other regional and NATO forces. Denmark already has AMRAAM in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractor will be RTX Corporation, located in Tucson, AZ.

The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) 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. When an AMRAAM missile is launched, NATO pilots use the brevity code “Fox Three”. The AMRAAM has been used in several engagements, achieving 16 air-to-air kills in conflicts over Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, India, and Syria. There are currently four main variants of AMRAAM, all in service with the United States Air Force, United States Navy, and the United States Marine Corps. The AIM-120A is no longer in production and shares the enlarged wings and fins with the successor AIM-120B. The AIM-120C has smaller “clipped” aerosurfaces to enable increased internal carriage on the USAF F-22 Raptor from four to six AMRAAMs.

The AIM-120C deliveries began in 1996. The C-variant has been steadily upgraded since it was introduced. The AIM-120C-5 and above have an improved HOBs (High Off Bore-Sight) capability which improves its G overload and seekers field of view over the previous variants allowing the missile to be more manoeuvrable and be used at targets that are offset from the launching aircrafts frontal view which allows for greater flexibility during air-to-air combat. The AIM-120C-6 contained an improved fuze (Target Detection Device) compared to its predecessor. The AIM-120C-7 development began in 1998 and included improvements in homing and greater range (actual amount of improvement unspecified). The AIM-120C-8 variant for international customers[51] were developed under the Form, Fit, Function Refresh (F3R) program and feature 15 upgraded circuit cards in the missile guidance section and the capability to continuously upgrade future software enhancements.

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