Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM

Product Type:

Air-to-Air Tactical Missile

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF) and Navy

Program Status:

Full Rate Production

Prime Contractor:

Raytheon Company

The AIM-120 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missile

About the AIM-120 AMRAAM:

The Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) is an all-weather, all environment radar guided missile developed to improve capabilities against very low altitude and high-altitude, high-speed targets in an electronic countermeasures environment. The AMRAAM is a joint U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy program (led by the Air Force). AMRAAM is currently in service with more than 36 countries.

The AIM-120 improves the aerial combat capabilities of U.S. and allied aircraft to meet current and future threat of enemy air-to-air weapons. AMRAAM is a follow-on to the AIM-7 Sparrow missile. The AIM-120 is faster, smaller and lighter, and has improved capabilities against low-altitude targets. It incorporates active radar with an inertial reference unit and micro-computer system, which makes the missile less dependent on the fire-control system of the aircraft. Once the missile closes on a target, its active radar guides it to intercept. This enables the pilot to aim and fire several missiles simultaneously at multiple targets. The pilot may then perform evasive maneuvers while the missiles guide themselves to their targets.

The last of the AIM-120C AMRAAMs, the AIM-120C7, completed operational testing in August 2007. It incorporates an upgraded antenna, receiver, signal processor, and new improved software algorithms to counter new threats. The use of smaller system components allows for future growth. The latest AMRAAM variant, the AIM-120D (originally designated AIM-120C8), is a development of the AIM-120C with a two-way data link, improved navigation using a GPS-enhanced Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), an expanded no-escape envelope, improved high-angle off-boresight capability + a 50% increase in range. Production of the AIM-120D commenced in 2006 with the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase completed in September 2009. In April 2015, the AIM-120D achieved nitial operational capability (IOC).

The combat-proven AMRAAM has accumulated more than 1.8 million captive-carry hours and more than 2,900 live firings. To date, more than 17,500 AIM-120 missiles have been produced.

Key Raytheon AMRAAM suppliers include Orbital ATK, Atlantic Inertial Systems, B-K Manufacturing, Eagle Pitcher, Fairview Machine, Flexible Circuits, Inc., General Dynamics, Kaman Aerospace, L-3 Communications, Litton, Midcon, M/A-COM, NAMMO Raufoss, OECO, REMEC, Storm, TTM, Trak Microwave, and UPCO.

On July 3, 2014, Raytheon was awarded a $163 million contract for AMRAAM program support and sustainment. Work will be performed at Raytheon Missile Systems' facility in Tucson, AZ and is expected to be completed by January 31, 2017. On December 23, 2014, Raytheon was awarded a $491 million contract for the production of AMRAAM missiles and other AMRAAM system items, including captive air training missiles, common munitions bit/reprogramming equipment, and non-developmental item airborne instrumentation units. The contract includes Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to South Korea, Oman, Singapore and Thailand. On March 31, 2015, Raytheon was awarded a $528.8 million contract modification for AMRAAM Lot 29 missiles.


The AIM-120 AMRAAM is fielded on the AV-8B Harrier II, the F-22 Raptor, the F-15 Eagle/F-15E Strike Eagle; the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F/A-18C/D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and the F-35 Lightning II. Overseas, AMRAAM is fielded on the Eurofighter Typhoon, Panavia Tornado (United Kingdom), the Saab JAS 39 Gripen as well as on the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of the AIM-120D AMRAAM missile is $1.098 million per All-Up Round (in FY 2015).

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the AMRAAM program is $17.50 billion (estimated by the DoD) + $2.95 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $20.45 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).


The mission of the AMRAAM is to destroy low and high altitude, high-speed enemy targets in an electronic countermeasures environment. AMRAAM is a fire-andforget air-to-air missile, and has replaced the AIM-7 Sparrow as the U.S. military's standard BVR (Beyond Visual Range) intercept missile. The missile has undergone various service life improvements. The current generation AIM-120D, has a two-way data link, GPS-enhanced IMU, an expanded no-escape envelope, improved High-Angle Off-Boresight capability, and a 50% increase in range.

FY 2015 DoD AMRAAM Program:

Continues the procurement and support of AMRAAM for the Air Force and Navy in Lot 29. The FY 15 Budget also provides funds for product improvements such as fuzing, guidance, and kinematics. In FY 2015, the DoD plans to purchase 200 AIM-120 missiles for the Air Force at a cost of $329.6 million. FY 15 also provides $92.4 million for RDT&E.

FY 2016 DoD AMRAAM Program:

Continues production in Lot 30 and provides product improvements such as fuzing, guidance, and kinematics. In FY 2016, the DoD plans to purchase 429 AIM-120 missiles (262 for the Air Force and 167 for the Navy) at a total procurement cost of $587.2 million. FY 15 also provides $78.3 million for RDT&E.

For more information, click to see the FY 2016 USAF AMRAAM Procurement Budget and the FY 2016 Navy AMRAAM Procurement Budget.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Raytheon Co., and Orbital ATK.

Specifications Platforms DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: June 5, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:

Raytheon: AIM-120 AMRAAM

YouTube: AIM-120 AMRAAM | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM | Fact Sheet

Total AMRAAM Program Cost:

 $20.45 billion  ($17.50B procurement + $2.95B RDT&E)

AMRAAM Procurement Objective:

  16,427 missiles  (USAF: 11,966 / NAVY: 4,461)

AIM-120 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the AIM-120 AMRAAM

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

AIM-120 AMRAAM Purchases (USAF) AIM-120 AMRAAM Purchases (NAVY)

Missile Specifications: AIM-120 AMRAAM

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Primary Function: Air-to-air tactical missile
Prime Contractor: Raytheon Co.
Propulsion: Orbital ATK solid-propellant rocket motor; or NAMMO Raufoss solid-propellant rocket motor
Length: 143.9 in (3.66 m)
Diameter: 7 in (17.78 cm)
Wingspan: 20.7 in (52.58 cm)
Weight: 335 lbs (150.75 kg)
Speed: Supersonic (Mach 4)
Range: 26-39 nm/30-45 miles (48-72 km)
Guidance System: Active radar terminal/inertial midcourse
Warhead: High explosive blast fragmentation
AIM-120A/B: 50 pound WDU-33/B; AIM-120C5: 40 pound WDU-41/B
Platforms: AV-8B Harrier II; F-22 Raptor;
F-15 Eagle/F-15E Strike Eagle; F-16 Fighting Falcon
F/A-18C/D Hornet; F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; EA-18G Growler; F-35 Lightning II
Price/Unit Cost: AIM-120D: $1.098 million per All-Up Round (in FY 2015)
Deployed: September 1991
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): AIM-120D: April 2015

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