Raytheon has been awarded a $523 million contract for the production of Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) for eight US allies including the UK.

The AIM-120 AMRAAM is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operation. The fire-and-forget weapon employs active radar guidance and incorporates a datalink to guide the missile to a point where its active radar turns on to intercept the target.

“Raytheon Missile Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $523,148,647 fixed-price incentive modification (P00001) to previously awarded contract FA8675-18-C-0003 for Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) Production Lot 3,” a press release said.

This modification provides for missile production and other AMRAAM system items, and is expected to be complete by January 31, 2021.

It involves foreign military sales to Japan, Kuwait, Poland, Indonesia, Qatar, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

“Fiscal 2018 production funds in the amount of $308,016,581; fiscal 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $3,569,227; and foreign military sales funds in the amount $211,562,839 are being obligated at the time of award.” the release said.

Last year, Raytheon was awarded a $634 million contract for production of AMRAAMs, with many earmarked for foreign military sales, including to Japan, Korea, Morocco, Poland, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Bahrain and Qatar.


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Levi Goldsteinberg

More good news, things are really starting to look up under Gavin Williamson

[…] post UK orders AMRAAM air-to-air missiles appeared first on UK Defence […]


I realise Meteor is probably a decade off integration on UK F-35’s, so are these a stop gap?…or more stock for the Typhoons?..info appreciated.

Ben P

Meteor is been integrated on the Typhoon this year and the F35 in 2024.

AMRAAM is needed for F35 in the meantime as well as the tranche 1 Typhoons because they are not capable of using Meteor.


Cheers Ben, thought it something along those lines.
Thanks for the clarification.


Why in gods name does it take 6 years to integrate this system?


That’s a good question; I can’t understand why it takes more than one year.
It’s also a pity that a British company could not pick up the challenge for designing and developing AMRAAMs. At the very least, the AMRAAMs should under licence be manufactured, tested, deployed, maintained and upgraded in the UK. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588


Are the Meteor missiles not cleared for thr Typhoon? Couldn’t they pool all the remaining AMRAAM’s for the F-35 and just buy more Meteor missiles for the Eurofighter? I don’t know, Maybe I’m mistaken but it just feels like a waste of money to buy AMRAAMs that are soon going to be no replaced in our inventory. Feel free to correct.


We won’t see Meteor integration on the F-35 until 2024 at the earliest, and most of the current AMRAAMs the UK has are probably older models. The first deployment of the QE with F-35s is scheduled for 2021 I believe. They should have the best available during that time.

John Pattullo

i know intregration of meteor will take a while but – realistically how often do we fire off amraam’s, surely our supply would have lasted till meteor was ready???


Missles have a shelf life for certain componenet.

The Lurker

I think people have a slightly incorrect impression that meteor is a replacement for AMRAAM, when it will operate along side AMRAAM instead. Jets are limited on how many meteor that could be carried, so will be supplemented with AMRAAM. There are also a bunch of scenarios where firing AMRAAM would actually be preferable.


I assume these are the A, B or C class missiles (70-100km range) and not the long range D (180km). Otherwise there would be overlap with the Meteor missile.

Ben P

Purchase is for the F35 and Tranche 1 Typhoons. They will not overlap. Here is how it goes.

Tranche 1 Typhoons – AMRAAM and ASRAAM.
Tranche 2-3 Typhoons – Meteor and ASRAAM.

F35 – ASRAAM and AMRAAM. In 2024 its switches to Meteor and ASRAAM.

Andy G

Great, so by 2025 we should be in great shape, it seems a lot of things are coming good around that timeframe.


Thanks for that. Though given there are four types of AMRAAM, do we know which ones the UK are getting?


Likely D or C7 as anything else would be ex US stocks. The others are out of production and C7 is only being kept as around for allies who can’t afford or are not trusted enough to allow purchases of D variants.


That averages only $65 million per nation, which probably isn’t that many missiles in the armory for an air force.


These additional stocks allow us to keep the tranche 1 typhoon in service in the QRA role until 2025 and stand up 7 squadrons on typhoon. It’s a pretty sensible idea and it avoids the need for a complete rebuild of tranche 1 airframes to carry new computers capable of handling Meteor, this can be done economically on tranche 2/3 airframes. Retention of tranche 1 past 2019 was only brought in in SDSR2015. Tranche 1 with AMRAAM is more than able to deal with 50 year old Russian bombers and it frees up 5 squadron of tranche2/3 airframes that will… Read more »

Glenn Ridsdale

As far as I know the UK has never previously purchased AIM-120C, let alone D. F-35 requires the later versions with their clipped wings for internal carriage. Meteor integration has to wait its turn – once the delay until 2024.


That averages only $65 million per nation, which probably isn’t that many missiles in the armory for an air force.

Mr J Bell

Frànk the workshare is not equal, some countries will be ordering more than others. I think this probably equates to 100-200 missiles for the UK inventory. More than enough for an initial week or 2 combat. Falklands war only 27 confirmed AAM kills , 9 by gunfire so even in a mid sized conflict not that many weapons were deployed.


Am I right to think AMRAM model D has mid course update and range equal to or greater than Meteor?


The Amraam D burns all of its fuel far far earlier than the Meteor. They are simply different generations when it comes to the engine.