How Many AIM-120 AMRAAM Missile Ukraine is Getting in the $192 Million Tranche

AIM-120 AMRAAM / Illustrative photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense
AIM-120 AMRAAM / Illustrative photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense

The Pentagon has ordered new AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, the S-8 version of this weapon can bring down air targets within a 160 km range

The U.S. Department of Defense has announced an order for AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles awarded to Raytheon under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative – USAI program. It means the weapons must be manufactured and then delivered, instead of coming straight from the U.S. Army's stocks.

The value of the contract is stated USD 192 million, the deadline is set on November 29, 2024. At the same time, the statement doesn't mention the total number of missiles to be produced.

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Source: Contracts For Aug. 31, 2023 – U.S. Department of Defense

Although, the approximate amount is quite simple to estimate on our own. The Pentagon's public reports will help us to do so.

When the Department was buying the same type of missiles for own Air Force in 2024 fiscal year, it published the following table:

Source: Program Acquisition Cost by Weapon System, United States Department Of Defense Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request, Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense (comptroller)/chief Financial Officer March 2023

As we can see, in the 2024 fiscal year (October 1 – September 30, and apparently, the missiles would be produced within the same year), a single AIM-120 AMRAAM cost $1.37 mln. Important to note, that is the price for the domestic customer, whereas for export, this missile goes for 2.42 mln each, judging from the foreign sales permit given to Sweden earlier this year.

In our case, though, it is a direct contract between the Pentagon and the manufacturer, so the price tag of 1.37 mln should be more relevant here.

That means $192 million is enough to buy 140 AIM-120 AMRAAMs for Ukraine. Most likely, they will come in the export version of the AIM-120D, the S-8. It has a range of 160 km (100 miles) when launched from an aircraft, the missile's homing head locks on the target at approximately 28 km distance from it.

Worth noting, the AIM-120 is also used by NASAMS ground-based air defense systems, in which case the range is reduced to 30 km.

For Ukraine, obtaining more AIM-120s in 2024 is not only a reinforcement to the available on-ground air defense component but also providing the F-16 with necessary weapons as soon as they start arriving around the same time.

Surely, this estimated number of 140 missiles is not comprehensive because more will be supplied by the U.S. under the Presidential Drawdown Authority – PDA program, the one that means drawing the weapons from the American arsenals and sending them as soon as possible.

F-16 launching an AIM-120 AMRAAM
F-16 launching an AIM-120 AMRAAM / Illustrative photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense
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