The US State Department has approved a potential foreign military sale of additional AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) to Japan.

The possible sale includes 160 AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM and related equipment worth an estimated $317m.

Subject to approval from Congress, Japan will also get one AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section, containers, weapon support, spare and repair parts.

The deal will also cover 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 and national security 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 interests to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defence capability.”

Procuring these missiles will equip Japan with a critical air defence capability to defend its homeland and US personnel stationed in the country.

Raytheon Missile Systems has been selected as the prime contractor for the programme.

In November last year, the State Department cleared a potential sale of 32 units of the AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM weapon system for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

It was preceded by another request made by the Japanese Government in 2017 to purchase 56 AIM 120C-7 AMRAAMs.

The weapon systems are manufactured by Raytheon to operate in a wide range of scenarios, including air-to-air and surface-launch engagements.

The AMRAAM missile has been integrated onto the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier. The AIM-120C5 and AIM-120C7 variants are fully integrated onto the F-35.