US Clears 32 AIM-120C-8 Missiles Sale to Japan for Possible use on F-35 Jets

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  • 06:50 AM, August 27, 2020
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US Clears 32 AIM-120C-8 Missiles Sale to Japan for Possible use on F-35 Jets
AIM-120C-AMRAAM Fired from F-35 @Raytheon

US State Department has approved a possible sale to Japan of 32 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) with support for an estimated cost of $63 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Japan has requested to buy 32 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM and one (1) AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM guidance section spare.  Also included are containers, support and support equipment, spare and repair parts, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.  The estimated total cost is $63 million.

The proposed sale of missiles will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and US personnel stationed there.  Japan already has AMRAAM in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing the additional missiles into its armed forces.

The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, AZ.  There are no known offset arrangements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

According to Raytheon information, the newest version of AMRAAM, the AIM-120C-8 is operational on all F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants. It is the only radar-guided, air-to-air missile cleared to fly on the F-35. AIM-120D features a new navigation system and hardened design for internal weapons bay carriage.

In July 2020, the United States approved the sale of 105 F-35 jets to Japan making it possibly the biggest foreign customer for F-35s. The approved package includes 63 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft and 42 F-35 short takeoff and landing variants.

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