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Air-Launched Weapons

US Department of State approves possible sale of AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs to Australia

14 March 2019
The US Department of State approved on 13 March the possible sale of Raytheon AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs to Australia to support that country’s acquisition of the Kongsberg NASAMS system (seen here). Source: Kongsberg

The US Department of State has approved a possible USD240.5 million foreign military sale of ground-launched Raytheon AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) and related equipment to Australia, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a 13 March statement.

Australia requested a possible sale of up to 108 AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs, six AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented, and six spare AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance sections, according to the DSCA.

Also included in the proposed deal, which still needs to be approved by the US Congress, are containers, weapon system support equipment, support and test equipment, site survey, transportation, repair and return warranties, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, maintenance, personnel training, and training equipment, US government and contractor representative engineering, logistics, technical support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The move is aimed at supporting Australia's acquisition of Kongsberg's National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) under Project Land 19 Phase 7B, which is aimed at developing a short-range ground-based air-defence (GBAD) capability for the Australian Army costing up to AUD2 billion (USD1.4 billion).

Canberra's procurement of NASAMS is awaiting Second Pass Approval, which is expected to be granted later this year. The government granted first pass approval in April 2017, which included the release of a single supplier limited request for tender (RFT) to Raytheon Australia to act as the prime system integrator for the new capability, which is expected to provide the inner-most layer of air defence for deployed forces against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and missiles.

Under Land 19 Phase 7B prime contractor Raytheon Australia is teamed with Kongsberg. Speaking to Jane's at the 2019 Avalon Airshow, Kyrre Lohne, Kongsberg's vice-president for strategic communications, said that the two companies are currently involved in a "risk mitigation" stage to inform the final system configuration.

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