The Pentagon has completed the integrated test program (ITP) of the latest Raytheon AIM-120D System Improvement Program (SIP) Tape 3 version of the venerable Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM.
The completion of the ITP follows a successful test shot from a US Navy F/A-18F at NAS Ventura County, Point Mugu on March 12, and will allow the program to progress to an operational test (OT) program in preparation of a planned service entry in 2022.
The AIM-120D ‘SIP 3’ will provide significantly enhanced range over the current in-service AIM-120D, and also adds a two-way datalink, GPS navigation, an expanded no-escape envelope, and improved high off-boresight capability.
Australia was approved by the US State Department for up to 450 AIM-120Ds in 2016, while both the UK and Canada have also received approval to order the missile. The RAAF currently operates the AIM-120C-5 and D models of the AMRAAM on its F/A-18A/B classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, and F-35A Lightning II.