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The U.S. Greenlights Air-to-Air Missile Sales to Japan

The U.S. Greenlights Air-to-Air Missile Sales to Japan

The U.S. State Department has given the nod for the sale of AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM and AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder air-to-air missiles to Japan. The proposed deal includes 120 AIM-120C-8 missiles, guidance sections, captive training missiles, and support equipment, estimated at $224 million. Additionally, the Sidewinder sale comprises 44 AIM-9X Block II missiles, captive training munitions, and associated support equipment, totalling an estimated cost of $59.03 million.

Despite its own AAM production, including AAM-4 BVRAAM and AAM-3 WVRAAM, Japan is eyeing the AIM-120C-8 and AIM-9X Block II missiles for integration into its F-2, F-15J, and F-35 fighter jet fleets.

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The AIM-120C-8, or AIM-120D, represents the latest advancement in the AIM-120 beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile family, boasting a GPS-aided midcourse guidance system and a claimed maximum range of 160 km.

On the other hand, the AIM-9X Block II introduces Lock-On After Launch Capability (LOAL), extending its range and enabling 360-degree engagements with compatible sensor-equipped aircraft, such as the F-35.