The delivered radar-air-to-air-guided missile AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) is a latest generation model. It is intended for the armament of the combat aircraft F/A-18 of the Swiss Air Force and replaces and supplements in part the predecessor model AIM-120 B purchased with the 1992 (RP92) armament programme.
The guided missile will be primarily used at distances outside the field of vision and is capable of engaging with the target in all weather conditions. It has a data link to the F/A-18 carrier aircraft for the target briefing in the first flying phase as well as via own radar – what is known as the seeker head – for independent detection or tracking of the target in the final flying phase. The new radar-guided missile of the Swiss Air Force is in use in large numbers in the US armed forces and other air forces.
The delivered guided missiles are a part of the project approved with the 2017 Armed Forces dispatch “Extension of the period of use of F/A-18 combat aircraft”. In addition to the guided missiles, other procurements will be carried out in this project, such as
- replacement and renewal of communications systems and night vision aiming devices and adjustments to the aircraft software
- a structural reorganisation programme
- adjustments to simulators as well as
- a logistics package
The overall package approved by Parliament has a volume of 450 million Swiss Francs.
The number of ordered AIM-120 C-7 guided missiles is classified as confidential military information.
In Switzerland, the armament of the F/A-18C/D combat aircraft consists of a radar-guided missile for medium distances (AIM-120 C-7 AMRAAM), an infrared guided missile for short distances (AIM-9X) and a 20-mm on-board gun.
The ordered AIM-120 C-7 guided missiles can also be used by the F-35A after decommissioning of the F/A-18.