Spain will buy 100 AIM-120C-7/8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) from the United States at an estimated cost of US$248.5m in a deal that also includes one spare AMRAAM Guidance Section and related equipment such as containers and support equipment. The proposed sale will 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. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Spain in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability, according to a State Department official.
The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, AZ, though there are no known offset arrangements proposed in connection with this potential sale. The AMRAAM missile system offers operational flexibility in air-to-air and surface-launch engagements. In the latter, it is the baseline weapon on the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, best known as NASAMS launcher.
“In the air-to-air role, the weapon’s advanced active guidance section provides aircrew with flexibility and lethality. Its mature seeker design allows it to quickly find targets in the most challenging environments,” according to Raytheon Missiles and Defense.
Procured by 37 countries including the US, the AMRAAM missile has been integrated onto the F-15 STRIKE EAGLE, F-16 FIGHTING FALCON, F/A-18 SUPER HORNET, F-22 RAPTOR, Eurofighter TYPHOON, JAS-39 GRIPEN, TORNADO and HARRIER. The newest version is operational on all F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants, with the company claiming it’s the only radar-guided, air-to-air missile cleared to fly on the F-35.