A joint U.S. Air Force-Navy program office tested new guidance hardware of Raytheon Technologies' Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile at a live fire demonstration that took place Wednesday at Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California.
Preliminary data from Raytheon, the AMRAAM prime contractor, showed the AIM-120D-3D variant met separation autopilot and free-flight navigation objectives during the missile shot test with an F/A-18F Super Hornet jet, Naval Air Systems Command said Thursday.
The AMRAAM JPO conducted the first shot in December as part of a developmental flight-testing phase meant to assess missile guidance, tracking and target acquisition functions.
Col. Sean Bradley, a senior materiel leader at the Air Force's armament directorate, said data from the two free-flight shots will serve as key to form, fit, function refresh program execution.
Bradley added that the F3R aims to "address an increasing number of production challenges due to obsolescence of various electronic components within the AIM-120.”
The AIM-120D-3 system also features software updates and NAVAIR expects production deliveries to commence in 2023.