March 5 (UPI) -- The Defense Department's latest contract with Raytheon is meant to support integration of AMRAAM missiles with current and future Air Force aircraft.
The $74 million award to Raytheon Missile Systems was announced on Thursday, and provides the "necessary aircraft lab, flight test, flight clearance and simulation support during all integration requirements in AMRAAM for F-15, F-16, FA-18, F-22, F-35 and other current inventory or next generation platforms that may join the Air Force or Navy inventory before the end of fiscal 2029," the Defense Department announced.
Work will be primarily conducted at Raytheon's Tucson, Ariz., facilities.
The contract is the latest of several awarded by the Defense Department pertinent to the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, a seven-inch-diameter, beyond-visual-range missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations.
Over 14,000 have been produced for the U.S. military and 33 international customers. A plan to equip unmanned aerial vehicles with the weapon is under development by LongShot program of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Raytheon has built the missile, regarded as the world's most popular air-to-air armament, since 1997. While it is a staple of NATO armaments, the company has recently concentrated on foreign sales.
In 2020, sales were announced to Hungary and to India, and in a $763 million deal in 2019, to a consortium of non-NATO countries including South Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and a dozen other countries.