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Enhancing Aerial Dominance: US Air Force Boosts Funding for AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles for F-22 and F-35, While AIM-260 JATM Transition Remains Unaffected

The U.S. Air Force intends to significantly boost investment in the manufacturing of AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). This announcement was made by Lieutenant General Richard G. Moore Jr., who serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs of the US Air Force.

Here’s What We Know During his speech, Moore emphasized the expenses associated with operating the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor fighters. We have previously discussed this matter. The U.S. Air Force plans to retire 32 of these aircraft in 2024 and allocate the saved funds towards the development of a fifth-generation fighter.

Richard G. Moore, Jr. stated that the US Air Force aims to augment funding for AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Naturally, he was subsequently questioned if this decision indirectly indicated any issues with the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile (JATM) project.

The lieutenant general confirmed that the JATM program is progressing according to the set timeline. The US Air Force has observed no delays and desires to transition to the new air-to-air missiles at the earliest opportunity.

The conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated the imperative need to increase the production of all types of ammunition. The US previously faced supply challenges, but now the industry is rapidly recovering.

Ammunition production was a central topic discussed during the US Congress budget hearings. Lawmakers seek to understand how the Pentagon will respond to the situation, and Moore stated that all branches of the military are currently investing in the production of highly sought-after munitions.

Regarding the AIM-260 JATM, it is a long-range missile being developed by Lockheed Martin as a substitute for the AIM-120 AMRAAM. It is projected to have the capability to destroy targets up to a distance of 200 km. The JATM will be carried by fifth-generation F-22/F-35 and fourth-generation F-15EX/F-18 Super Hornet fighters.

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