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US approves possible air-to-air missile sales to Japan

US Air Force maintainers prepare to load AIM-120-C-7 AMRAAMs on a USAF F-15 on Okinawa in 2016. A proposed new sale of AIM-120 and AIM-9 Sidewinders to Japan has the goal of improving the ability of JASDF's F-15, F-35, and F-2 fleets to meet current and future threats and protect US personnel in Japan, according to the US State Department. (US Department of Defense)

The United States State Department has approved the possible sale of air-to-air missiles for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

In announcements on 15 December, the State Department said Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of 120 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and 44 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles plus associated equipment had been proposed.

The possible AIM-120C-8 sale, which has a value of USD224 million, also includes AIM-120 Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs), missile containers, and control section spares and equipment, such as Common Munitions Built-in-Test Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE), ADU-891 Adapter Group Test Sets, plus munitions support and support equipment.

The second proposed sale of AIM-9X Sidewinder Block IIs has a value of USD59.03 million. It includes 29 AIM-9X Sidewinder CATMs and equipment such as missile containers, spare and repair parts, repair of repairables, support and test equipment, and publications and technical documentation.

The sale of both missile types is intended to “improve Japan's capability to meet current and future threats”, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on 15 December.

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