The US Air Force and Raytheon have completed all developmental and operational testing of the AIM-120D-3, the newest and most advanced variant of the AMRAAM missile (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).

The final test firing, conducted by an F-16 Fighting Falcon, marks a breakthrough in enhancing the air-to-air capabilities of US military aircraft.

The AIM-120D-3, developed under the Form, Fit, Function Refresh program, has passed its final flight test.

The test firing, carried out by an F-16 Fighting Falcon on the Eglin Test and Training Range, demonstrated the missile’s hardware and software capabilities. The AIM-120D-3 incorporates upgraded circuit cards in the guidance section, enabling continuous agile software improvements and countering peer threats effectively.

According to Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon, completing the flight test program is a significant achievement for the AMRAAM project. “We are ramping AMRAAM production to a greater rate than ever before in the history of this program,” said Ferraro.

With significantly increased functionality, performance, and producibility, we ensure warfighters can count on having the fifth generation of AMRAAM – and enough of them – in their arsenal.”

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Missiles & Missile Defense Systems Market 2022-2032” report, Raytheon Technologies is the leading MMDS supplier in North America. The company will capture 24.9% of the MMDS market in North America, with an anticipated revenue share of $34.7 billion over 2022–32.

Completing this test highlights the benefits of live-fire testing and the strength of platform integration in an operationally relevant environment.

The AIM-120D-3’s performance in various air-to-air scenarios was evaluated throughout the test program, involving both US Navy and US Air Force fourth and fifth-generation platforms. This assessment ensured that the latest AMRAAM variant met the requirements of modern aerial warfare.

A variety of nations have bought AMRAAM missiles from Raytheon in recent years. These vary from Asian nations such as Japan and Singapore to Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden.

The successful final test firing of the AIM-120D-3 paves the way for increased production and deployment of this advanced missile variant. Recent contracts, including a $1.15 billion award in June 2023 and a $972 million award in September 2022, signal the US government’s commitment to providing its warfighters with air-to-air capabilities.

With the AIM-120D-3 ready for deployment, the US Air Force and Raytheon are ensuring that the fifth generation of AMRAAM stands prepared to bolster the nation’s defence, supporting the mission of protecting the skies and maintaining air dominance.