Raytheon to Support USAF AMRAAM Air-To-Air Missiles for $72 million
Raytheon missile systems company won a technical support contract eventually worth $72 million to support the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. There were no details available on exactly what the agreement would entail but the funds are not obligated at the time of contract award, thus Raytheon will see $72 million if they get the work done.
"This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition no funds are being obligated on the action at the time of the award."-- US Department of Defense
According to the Air Force, the AMRAAM is the only missile that is compatible with fighter aircraft flown across the U.S. military as a whole. There are several series of the missile, but they are compatible with the Air Force F-15, F-16, F-22 and the Navy F-18 (all models). The AMRAAM missile is also the only air-to-air missile that is qualified for use on the F-35, primarily the AIM-120 C5 and the AIM-120 C7 models, which are used by Marine Corps F-35B although these aircraft have not yet been deployed in combat and are not service ready at this time.
According to the Raytheon website, the AMRAAM is the world's most sophisticated air dominance weapon; it has been in design and use for well over 25 years the newer AIM-120 series meets the standards for all fighting vehicle requirements across the military spectrum.
The AMRAAM missile system uses radar that is built into each missile, giving it an active guidance system that allows the pilot to fire-and-forget the missile. This allows pilots to lock on to several targets and fire several different missiles quickly and then get out of the way; this allows for the pilot and the aircraft to escape without any damage. It is also the only missile available that has 10 confirmed air-to-air combat victories. It has been fired over four thousand times in test scenarios, all of them a success.