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Spain to acquire extended-range AMRAAMs for Eurofighters, Hornets, NASAMS

A Spanish Air Force Eurofighter of Ala 14 at Albacete Air Base. In front of the aircraft are its primary weapon systems, including the AMRAAM missile. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain is to buy the extended-range Raytheon AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) for its fleet of Eurofighter (C.16 in national service) and Boeing EF-18 (C.15) Hornet combat aircraft, as well as for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) ground-based air-defence system.

The Council of Ministers authorised the conclusion of a contract for the acquisition of 68 AIM-120-C8 AMRAAM missiles, related items, and support for an estimated EUR100 million (USD107 million), it was announced on 30 October.

β€œThe acquisition of these missiles … will allow maintaining and updating the minimum reserve stocks for the aircraft and weapon systems of the [Spanish] Air and Space Force and the [Spanish] Army that use this missile, facilitating the fulfilment of the missions … and improving their capabilities,” the council said.

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

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