The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale of AIM-120C-8 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) to Japan.

The possible sale includes 32 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAMs and related equipment worth an estimated $63m.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has also notified Congress about the sale.

Japan has also requested for one AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM guidance section spare, containers, support and support equipment, spare parts and repair parts.

The purchase also includes US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services.

In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the US by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.

“It is vital to US national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defence capability.”

By procuring these missiles, Japan is further boosting its key air defence capabilities that will help defend homeland and US personnel stationed in the country.

Raytheon Missile Systems based in Tucson, Arizona, has been selected as the prime contractor for the sale programme.

AMRAAMs are designed for use in a range of scenarios, including air-to-air and surface-launch engagements.

The missile is integrated onto the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier.

Last month, the Netherlands requested the sale of 16 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAMs for an estimated $39m from the US.

In October last year, the US State Department approved a sale of AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM to the Republic of Korea (RoK).