F-16 Test Fires AIM-120D-3 for Newest AMRAAM Variant

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F-16 Test Fires AIM-120D-3 for Newest AMRAAM Variant
The U.S. Air Force and Raytheon, an RTX, tested the AIM-120D-3 developed under the Form, Fit, Function Refresh, known as F3R, from an F-16 fighter jet.

Since its introduction in 1991, the AIM-120 AMRAAM has undergone several versions and modifications. The latest version, AIM-120D, has improved in guidance and range, moving from the AIM-120A, which had a range of 35 kilometres, to the current AIM-120D, which has a range of more than 180 kilometres and a two-way data link for in-flight updates and retargeting. The most recent version, the AIM-120D, represents a significant step forward in the evolution of these missiles, with substantial improvements in guidance and range. The AIM-120D-3 is the most advanced variant of the AMRAAM missile, with upgraded circuit cards in the missile's guidance section, allowing for continuous software improvements. Essential in the missile guidance section, these circuit boards control the missile's flight path, ensuring it accurately hits its target. Developmental and operational tests of the AIM-120D-3 included captive carry and live fires from both U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force fourth and fifth-generation platforms. The production ramp increases as the company signs contracts with $1.15 billion awarded in June 2023 and $972 million awarded in Sept 2022. The AIM-120D-3's most recent successful firing test paves the way for increased production and deployment of this advanced missile variant. This is reflected in the recent multimillion-dollar contracts awarded.

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The U.S. Air Force has commissioned the F-16 Fighting Falcon to test the AIM-120D-3 missile. The test fires were conducted at the Eglin Test and Training Range. The AIM-120D-3 significantly improves the air-to-air combat capability of U.S. military aircraft, thanks to its updated circuit boards that enable more precise flight and effective countermeasures against similar threats.




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