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US approves sale to South Korea of 120 AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air-missiles

­­­The U.S. State Department approved the sale to South Korea of 120 AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) with support at an estimated cost of $253 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.

The proposed sale also includes containers; weapon support and support equipment; spare and repair parts; and other related elements of logistical and program support, the Thursday, October 17 release said.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater,” DSCA said.

“This proposed sale will improve the [Republic of Korea’s] capability to meet current and future threats by increasing its stocks of medium range missiles for its F-15K, KF-16, and F-35 fleets for its national defense,” DSCA said, adding that the sale would further strengthen the interoperability between the two nations’ forces.

The principal contractor is Raytheon, and there are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with the potential sale.

The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile 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, formerly known as the C-8, is an upgraded and improved version, with improvements in almost all areas, including a 50% greater range and better guidance.

The AMRAAM missile is used by 37 countries and is integrated onto various U.S.-made fighter jets including F-22, F/A-18, F-16 and F-15, as well as the Eurofighter and Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen. AIM-120C-5 and AIM-120C-7 missiles are fully integrated onto the F-35.

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