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Japan approved for $317M purchase of AMRAAM missiles

May 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Japan for 160 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.

On Friday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale of the AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM. Raytheon Missile Systems, which manufactures the missiles, will be the primary contractor on the deal.

Included in the contract are containers, weapon support and support equipment, spare and repair parts, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

Japan also wants to buy one AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section.

The proposed sale will provide Japan "a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there," according to DSCA.

The deal is "vital to U.S. national interests to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability," the agency said.

The air-to-air missile system is the "world's most sophisticated air dominance weapon" for 25 years, according to Raytheon on its website, though the company notes it can also be surface-launched.

The AMRAAM missile has been a part of the United States' National Capital Region's air defense system since 2005, and is used by 37 other militaries, in addition to the U.S. military.

It has been integrated onto the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier. The AIM-120C-5 and AIM-120C-7 missiles are fully integrated onto the F-35 and support the U.S. Marine Corps' F-35B.

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