Australia requests AIM-120D AMRAAM missiles for RAAF fast jets

written by | April 27, 2016

An Australian acquisition of a package of Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM missiles for the RAAF’s Hornet, Growler and F-35 combat aircraft has been approved by the US State Department, the US’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has revealed.

A DSCA announcement dated April 25 states the Government of Australia has requested the purchase of up to 450 AIM-120D missiles, plus up to 34 AIM-120D instrumented air vehicles (AAVIs), up to six instrumented test vehicles and up to 10 spare AIM-120 guidance sections at an estimated cost of US$1.22 billion (A$1.32 billion).

“This proposed sale is in support of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F/A-18, E/A-18G, and F-35 aircraft,” the DSCA announcement reads. “This proposed sale will provide the RAAF additional air-to-air intercept capability and increase interoperability with the US Air Force.”


Australia would be the first export customer for the D model of the AIM-120, which features in the order of 50 per cent greater range than earlier AMRAAMs, an improved high-angle off-boresight capability, GPS-aided navigation and a two-way data link.

The RAAF’s classic Hornets carry both the AIM-120C-5 and C-7 model AMRAAMs, while the Super Hornets carry the AIM-120C-7, previously the most advanced variant of the AMRAAM series cleared for export.

Senior Airman Daniel Myers and Staff Sgts. Daphne Jaehn and John Davenport load an AIM-120D Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile on an F-22A Raptor in preparation for noise and vibration testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The Airmen are assigned to the base's 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and are with the F-22 Combined Test Force weapons flight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Robertson)
An AIM-120D is loaded on an F-22 in preparation for noise and vibration testing during the missile’s development program. The AIM-120D achieved IOC in 2015. (USAF)


  • Tomcat Terry


    Is that a Raptor being loaded with AIM-120?

  • Gary


    The image says it all!

  • Corey Dark


    Tomcat Terry. Yes it is. Also the US Government has requested the the USAF/DOD look into restarting the F-22 line which would be a good thing for the US and possible Australia. If they do restart the F-22 Raptor line Australia might be able to buy a small fleet of 24 along with possible restarting the FB-22 which is confided the stealth version of the GD F-111 Aardvark which the RAAF could also buy. How ever if they do restart the F-22 production line they should make some minor changes to the aircraft by installing the new GE ADVENT engine which would be shared with the F-35 along with reducing weight and increasing computing power. Also the F-22 has an oxygen problem which I don’t think has been fixed yet so they should find what is the cause and fix it.

  • Brucimus


    Read the tail fin

  • mick181


    Corey the problem for Australia in the extremly unlikely event of a F-22 production restart would be that the numbers of F-35s would be cut, forcing up the price. The more F-35s built the cheaper they will be as everyone is paying the same per Aircraft. F-22s at the time of the production line were twice the current cost of a JSF & not available for export. Contrary to popular opinion Australia has never had a requirment for the Raptor and has never requested it.

  • mick181


    Huh!!! A stealth version of the GD F-111 which Australia could buy?

  • Adam


    A lot of hopes and dreams there Corey..

  • Jason


    Some context, ONE congressman who happens to be the chair of the US House Armed Services subcommittee has asked the USAF to report back on the cost of restarting the F-22 line, NOT “the US Government”. Guess where the congressman is from…?!?!?

    While the thought of a modernised F-22 with an F-35 sensor and comms suite, modern open architecture systems and more supportable coatings etc is mouth-watering, imagine the eye-watering cost of re-designing the jet and re-starting a cold production line to build just ~200 more airframes!

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