US-based defence RTX, formerly known as Raytheon, has been awarded a $192m indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for purchase of Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM).

The contract “provides for Raytheon purchasing fielded AMRAAM weapons from various sources”, with work expected to be completed by 29 November 2024, and the result of a sole-source acquisition.

According to the US Department of Defense (DoD) release on 31 August of the $192m, nearly $7.7m Fiscal 2023 Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds were obligated at the time of the award.

The AMRAAM missile is among a number of weapon systems that can be fitted to the F-16 fighter, a platform widely operated by the US and international customer, with Ukraine due to become the latest operator in the coming months following commitments for aircraft and pilot training to aid Kyiv in its war against Russia.

Commitments to missile systems for future Ukraine F-16 have emerged over the past quarter as the structure for the donation and delivery of the fighters to Kyiv have been finalised, and also for use in the NASAMS air defence systems operated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In May, Canada announced the donation of 43 AIM-9 AMRAAM missiles to use by Ukraine, and in late-August the US DoD announced it would donate AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles from its stores to Kyiv.  

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Raytheon upgrading AMRAAM variants

RTX revealed on 1 September the completion of the first flight test of an upgraded AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM missile, fired from a US Air Force F-15C Eagle against an aerial target.

According to RTX, upgrade work being undertaken on the AMRAAM missile system under the Form, Fit, Function refresh programme, will see subsystems such as guidance processors and software improved in legacy AIM-120D-3 and AIM-120C-8 AMRAAMs.

The AIM-120C-8 test follows the completion of flight testing of the AIM-120D-3 in April this year, 11 months after initial testing began. The AIM-120C-8 variant is designed for international customers.