This shot enables AIM-120D SIP-3 to enter dedicated operational test with planned fielding of enhanced warfighting capabilities in early 2022.
Taken on Mar. 12, 2021 the photo in this post features a US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet successfully executing the final shot in the Integrated Test Program of The Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile AIM-120D System Improvement Program (SIP) Tape 3 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Point Mugu.
The shot enables AIM-120D SIP-3 to enter dedicated operational test with planned fielding of enhanced warfighting capabilities in early 2022.
SIP-3 primarily incorporates Advanced Electronic Protection Improvement Program (AEPIP) capabilities in the AIM-120D.
The AMRAAM program completed its conceptual phase in February 1979 when the U.S. Air Force selected two of five competing contractors, Hughes Aircraft Co. and Raytheon Co., to continue into the validation phase.
During the 33-month validation phase the contractors continued missile development by building actual hardware to demonstrate their technological concepts. The program phase concluded in December 1981 after both contractors demonstrated that their flight-test missiles could satisfy Air Force and Navy requirements. The Air Force competitively selected Hughes Aircraft Co.’s Missile System Group, Canoga Park, Calif., as the full-scale developer.
During the full-scale development phase, Hughes Aircraft Co. completed missile development and Raytheon was selected as a follower producer. A production contract to both vendors was awarded in 1987. More than 200 of the test missiles were launched during flight tests at Eglin AFB, Fla.; White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; and Point Mugu, Calif.
With more than 30 years of design, upgrades, testing and production, the AIM-120 missile continues to meet warfighter requirements in all weather and beyond visual range. Its capabilities have been fully demonstrated in over 4,800 test shots and more than 10 air-to-air combat victories.
Procured by 40 countries and the U.S., the AMRAAM missile has been integrated onto the F-15A/B/C/D/E Eagle/Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-22 Raptor, Eurofighter Typhoon, JAS-39 Gripen, F-35 Lightning II and Harrier. It is also the baseline weapon on the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, also known as NASAMS.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy