AIM-120 A/B Amraam
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget missile with active guidance. It is also commonly known as the Slammer in USAF service. When an AMRAAM missile is being launched, NATO pilots use the brevity code Fox Three.
AMRAAM was developed as the result of an agreement (the Family of Weapons MOA, no longer in effect by 1990), among the United States and several other NATO nations to develop air-to-air missiles and to share production technology. Under this agreement the U.S. was to develop the next generation medium range missile (AMRAAM) and Europe would develop the next generation short range missile (ASRAAM). When the German ASRAAM seeker development ran into problems, the MOA was abrogated and this breakdown led to the U.S. developing AIM-9X Sidewinder and Germany the IRIS-T. Although Europe initially adopted AMRAAM, an effort to develop the MBDA Meteor, a competitor to AMRAAM, was begun. Eventually ASRAAM was developed solely by the UK with another source for its seeker. After protracted development, deployment of AMRAAM (AIM-120A) began in September 1991 with USAF F-15 Eagle squadrons. The US Navy followed suit in 1993 with the F/A-18C.
The eastern counterpart of AMRAAM is the very similar Russian AA-12 Adder, commonly known in the west as "AMRAAMski." Likewise, France began its own missile development with the MICA concept that used the same airframe for separate radar and IR guidance versions.