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Belgium approved for extended-range AMRAAMs for F-16s, F-35s

Belgium has been cleared to field the extended-range AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM missile for its F-16 (pictured) and F-35 aircraft fleets. (Belgian MoD)

Belgium has been cleared to buy the extended-range Raytheon AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) for its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 8 November that the Department of State had approved the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of up to 120 missiles to Belgium, to be procured incrementally for an estimated USD380 million.

“The proposed sale will improve Belgium's capability to meet current and future threats by maintaining its F-16 and F-35 fleets in combat-ready status and providing a credible deterrent to regional threats,” the DSCA said in its approval notification, adding, “Belgium will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.”

Besides the live missiles, the proposed sale includes spares, training, support, and other equipment.

Now more widely known as the AIM-120D, the AIM-120C-8 retains the same solid-propellant rocket motor of the AIM-120C-5 and C-7 variants but gives a significantly improved no-escape envelope and high-angle off-boresight capabilities over earlier variants.

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