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US approves air-launched munitions for Italy

Italy has been approved to buy further SDB II and AIM-120C-8 air-launched munitions to be carried by its combat aircraft types, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. (Italian Air Force)

The US government has approved the sale of air-launched munitions to Italy for an estimated USD219.3 million.

In two separate approval notifications posted by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 15 February, the US Department of State cleared the sale to Italy of RTX GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) II (also known as StormBreaker) and AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) weapon systems.

The SDB II approval covers 125 of the glide bombs for an estimated USD150 million, with the AMRAAM approval covering 24 missiles for USD69.3 million.

Italy already fields both the SDB II and the AMRAAM (albeit in an older standard than the latest AIM-120C-8). The SDB II and AIM-120C-8 are carried by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, while the AIM-120C-8 is also carried by the Eurofighter Typhoon.

For more information on the SDB II and AIM-120C-8, please seeStormBreaker (GBU-53/B SDB II)andAIM-120 Advanced Medium‐Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

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