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Hungary purchase of 180 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles approved

The United States approved a request by Hungary to purchase 180 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.

Hungary has asked for 180 AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs and four spare guidance sections, along with training missiles, classified software for the AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radar, spares, cryptographic and communication security devices, and other equipment, support and training at a total program cost of $500 million, the Tuesday, August 27 DSCA release said.

Raytheon Missile Systems is the primary contractor.

Hungary has requested to purchase the AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radar through direct commercial sale, the release added.

DSCA said the proposed sale would “support the foreign policy and national security 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,” and is consistent with U.S. initiatives to “enhance interoperability with U.S forces” in the region.

Hungary intends to use the AMRAAM to modernize its armed forces and deter regional threats, the release said.

In 2017, Hungary announced an armed forces development scheme and decision to raise the annual defense budget to 2% of GDP by 2024. As part of the program, called Zrinyi 2026, the defense ministry will purchase 40 helicopters and increase its military reserves to 20,000 personnel by 2026. The air force’s Gripen fighter jets are also due to be upgraded.

The AIM-120 AMRAAM is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operation. The fire-and-forget weapon employs active radar guidance and incorporates a datalink to guide the missile to a point where its active radar turns on to intercept the target.

The missile also features a “Home on Jamming” ability, enabling it to switch to passive homing on jamming signals from the target aircraft.

The AIM-120C-7 variant featured improved homing and range capabilities over older versions, while the AIM-120D includes a 50% greater range and better guidance.

AMRAAM missiles are used by 37 countries and are integrated onto various U.S.-made fighter jets including F-22, F/A-18, F-16 and F-15, as well as the Eurofighter 2000 and Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen. AIM-120C5 and AIM-120C7 missiles are fully integrated onto the F-35.

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