Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The State Department approved the sale of 120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) to South Korea, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced.
The requested $253 million package includes the AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles; containers; weapon support and support equipment; spare and repair parts; logistics support services and other related elements. The contract, announced Thursday, specifies that Raytheon Co. will be the principal contractor. The sale still requires the approval of the U.S. Congress, which was notified of the State Department's approval of the deal.
The AIM-120C series, in use by 37 countries, is based on a 30-year-old design taken from the AIM-7 Sparrow missile series, and is in use largely on F-15, F-16, F/A-18E/F, F-22 and F-35 fighter planes. It incorporates active radar with an inertial reference unit and micro-computer system, making the missile less dependent upon the fire-control system of the aircraft. When the missile closes on a target, its active radar guides it to intercept, enabling the pilot to aim and fire several missiles simultaneously at multiple targets.
The missiles are regarded as an industry standard and the most popular beyond-visual-range missile on the market. Over 14,000 have been made for the U.S. military and international customers.
In August, Hungary was approved as a buyer of $500 million AMRAAM missiles and associated equipment and training. Japan and Australia also arranged to purchase the missiles this year.