Raytheon awarded a contract to upgrade AMRAAM’s software

 U.S. Air Force aerial warfare experts are asking Raytheon Technologies Corp. to upgrade the U.S. Navy and Air Force AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) under terms of a $125 million four-year contract announced Wednesday.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are asking the Raytheon Missiles & Defense segment in Tucson, Ariz., to carry out the AMRAAM System Improvement Program (SIP).

The AMRAAM SIP is to create advanced versions of the AIM-120D AMRAAM missile, with improvements in almost all areas, including a 50 percent greater range than previous versions of the anti-aircraft missile, and better guidance over its entire flight envelope for an improved probability of kill.

This contract provides for delivery of software updates to the AMRAAM inventory. Software development activities are expected to use a recognized agile framework consisting of collaboration among the Air Force and U.S. prime systems integrators.

The range of the AIM-120D is classified, but is thought to extend to about 100 miles, experts say. The AMRAAM SIP project will upgrade the missile with a two-way data link, more accurate navigation using a GPS-enhanced inertial measurement unit (IMU), an expanded no-escape envelope, and improved high off-boresight capability. The upgrade missile is expected to have a maximum speed of Mach 4.

The new missile should be suitable for the U.S. F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare (EW) jet, and the F-35 Lightning II fighter-bomber.

The AMRAAM SIP will pay for studies and risk-reduction efforts for the AIM-120D AMRAAM. It will identify and analyze, potential system improvement candidates and recommend the viability of integrating the improved capabilities into AMRAAM AIM-120D configurations.

Raytheon also will develop prototype AMRAAM upgraded software code for the missile variants. Raytheon, the original designer of the AMRAAM, is he only known responsible source for this job, Air Force experts say.

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