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US approves extended-range AMRAAM sale to Germany

A Luftwaffe Eurofighter equipped with a pair of AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles on its central underwing pylons, which it carries in conjunction with the MBDA Meteor missiles on the underfuselage recessed hardpoints. (Luftwaffe)

The US government has approved the sale of the extended-range Raytheon AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) to Germany, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 19 July.

The US Department of State approval for the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) covers up to 969 missiles, related equipment, spares, training, and support for an estimated USD2.9 billion.

β€œThe proposed sale will improve Germany's capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring they have modern, capable air-to-air munitions. This sale will further advance the already high level of German Air Force interoperability with US joint forces and other regional and NATO forces,” the DSCA said.

This approval follows the earlier clearance in July 2022 of 105 AIM-120C-8 missiles as part of a wider weapons package for Germany's Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II buy.

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.

The Luftwaffe already fields earlier versions of the AMRAAM on its Eurofighter aircraft, in conjunction with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range missile.

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