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AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range, Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM)

Last updated: 23 Sep 2021


The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range, Air-to-Air missile is a new generation air-to-air missile. It has an all-weather, beyond-visual-range capability and is scheduled to be operational beyond 2050. The AMRAAM is being procured for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and allies of the United States. In addition to providing an air- to-air capability, AMRAAM also provides air defense support via surface launch capability.


The AMRAAM program improves the aerial combat capabilities of U.S. and allied aircraft to meet current and future threats of enemy air-to-air weapons. AMRAAM serves as a follow-on to the AIM-7 Sparrow missile series. The new missile is faster, smaller, and lighter, and has improved capabilities against low- altitude targets. The AIM-120 incorporates an active radar in conjunction with an inertial reference unit and microcomputer system, which makes the missile less dependent on the fire-control system of the launching aircraft. Once the missile closes in on the target, its active radar guides it to an intercept.

AMRAAM-equipped fighters can attack several targets simultaneously. The AIM-120C series began deliveries in 1996 and continues for US allies. Joint procurement of the AIM-120D series began in fiscal 2006 and continues today. The AIM-120D features improved accuracy via Global Positioning System aided navigation, kinematics, lethality and hardware and software updates to enhance its electronic protection capabilities against more capable threats.


Entering service in September 1993, AMRAAM has evolved to maintain air superiority through pre-planned product improvement programs. The AIM-120 grew out of a joint agreement, no longer in effect, between the United States and several NATO nations to develop air-to-air missiles and to share the production technology. AMRAAM has four variants - the AIM 120A/B/C/D are operational on U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aircraft. The AIM-120C-7 missile variant reached IOC in FY 2008. The Navy achieved IOC of the latest hardware variant AIM-120D in January 2015. To pace the threat, the Navy fielded the Advanced Electronic Protection Improvement Program (EPIP) for AIM-120C3-C7 missiles in September 2019 and the System Improvement Program Increment 2 (SIP 2) for AIM-120D in June 2021. SIP 3 for AIM-120D is planned to field in 2022.

To date, 41 countries have procured AMRAAM, enriching interoperability, ensuring commonality, and helping sustain strong overall logistic support.


U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force (Air Force Lead)

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Advanced, medium-range, air-to-air tactical missile
Contractor: Raytheon
Date Deployed: September 1991
Propulsion: Solid Propellant Rocket
Length: 12 feet
Diameter: 7 inches
Wingspan: AIM-120A/B 21 inches; AIM-120C/D 19 inches
Weight: AIM-120A/B/C-4 348 pounds; AIM-120C 5/6/7/D 356 pounds
Speed: Classified
Platforms: Navy/USMC: A/V-8B, F/A-18C/D/E/F/G Hornet and Super Hornet, F-35B/C. Air Force: F-15, F-16, F-22, and F-35A. NATO: AV-8B, Eurofighter 2000, F-4, F-16, F/A-18, F-35, JAS-39
Warhead: Blast Fragmentation; high explosive

Point of Contact
Program Executive Office
Air Force and Navy Public Affairs Office

Air Force: 96th Test Wing Public Affairs Office
101 West D Ave., Suite 110
Eglin AFB, FL 32542-5498
(850) 882-3931

Navy: Program Executive Office Tactical Aircraft Programs (PEO(T)) Public Affairs Office
47123 Buse Rd, Bldg 2272
Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD 20670

(240) 309-8076


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