Raytheon will provide over a hundred Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Ukraine as part of a US Department of Defense contract.
The $192-million contract provides for Raytheon purchasing fielded AMRAAMs from various sources, with delivery taking place through November 2024.
An initial purchase of $7,688,220 will be made under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to supply weapons from industry.
By comparison, the Presidential Drawdown Authority draws armaments directly from the US stocks.
140 Missiles for F-16s
Citing previous Pentagon AMRAAM purchases, Defence Express pegged the missile’s unit cost at 1.37 million, which allows for the purchase of 140 missiles under the contract.
Ukraine has already received AMRAAMs from the US to be employed by the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems.
However, the latest contract is likely intended for the missile’s airborne use from the F-16 fighter jets, which have been promised by multiple countries to Ukraine.
The contract follows the US relenting on its refusal to allow European countries to send the US-made aircraft to Ukraine.
Reacting to the contract announcement, the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Inhat reportedly said that the Pentagon has ordered “certain modifications of AMRAAM missiles” which can “cover a distance of 160-180 kilometers (99-112 miles).”
“This is more than enough to hit Russian warplanes without entering the enemy’s air defense zone. The farther, the safer it is for our pilots, and the more dangerous it is for our enemy,” Ukrinform quoted him as saying on air.
Likely Variant to Be Delivered
The contract notice doesn’t specify the AMRAAM variant or variants to be delivered to Ukraine.
However, Inhat’s reference to the missile’s range makes the AIM-120D the most likely candidate.
The 120D has a greater range than other variants and features GPS guidance and anti-jamming.