The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of nearly $317 million worth of advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles to Japan, according to notifications released by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 17 May.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which disclosed the approval, the proposed sale comprises one hundred sixty AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and one AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section.
If approved by Congress, the sale would be worth $317 million. This would include are containers, weapon support and support equipment, spare and repair parts, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The proposed sale of these missiles will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractor Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona.
The company’s website said AMRAAM gives the warfighter flexibility because it can be quickly transferred from a fighter aircraft to a missile launcher to fulfill its air defense role. Using one missile for two critical missions gives the warfighter a cost-effective logistics and maintenance solution.
AIM-120C-7 has been integrated on the F-16, F-15, F/A-18, Typhoon and the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. It is also the baseline missile for the U.S. Army’s Surface Launched-AMRAAM and the NATO-approved Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System.
AMRAAM has more than 1.7 million captive-carry hours and more than 2,400 live firings.