US approves sale of AIM-120C-8 air-to-air missiles for Belgian Air Force

According to information published by the US government on November 9, 2022, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Belgium of AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment for a total estimated cost of $380 million.

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US approves sale of AIM 120C 8 air to air missiles to Belgium Belgian Air Force fully armed F-16A.  (Picture source: BAF)

The approval would allow the Government of Belgium to buy incrementally up to one hundred twenty (120) AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); and ten (10) AMRAAM C-8 Guidance Sections.

Also included are spare AIM-120 control sections and containers; AIM-120C Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); other spare parts, consumables, accessories, and repair/return support; classified software; books, technical documentation, and other publications; training and training equipment; munitions support and support equipment; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total cost for the approved scope is $380 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.

The proposed sale will improve Belgium’s capability to meet current and future threats by maintaining its F-16 and F-35 fleets in combat-ready status and providing a credible deterrent to regional threats. Belgium will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Belgium. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

About the AMRAAM

The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. It is 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter and employs active transmit-receive radar guidance instead of semi-active receive-only radar guidance.

The AMRAAM has been used in several engagements, achieving sixteen air-to-air kills in conflicts over Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, India, and Syria.