Regulators in Washington have approved a request from Norway to purchase 300 of the latest RTX AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) to equip the country’s array of ground-based air defences and Lockheed Martin F-35A stealth fighters.

The US Department of State, which has approval authority over arms exports, signed off on the $1.94 million deal on 11 June, paving the way for Oslo to acquire 300 missiles in the AIM-120C-8 configuration.

F-35A test fires a standard AMRAAM air-to-air missile off coast of California c Raytheon

Source: Raytheon

Norway’s latest AMRAAM order will primarily be used to equip ground-based air defences, with the country’s F-35 fighter fleet the secondary target

The new AMRAAMs will supplement Norway’s existing air-to-air missile stocks, which consist of the older AIM-120B model. In 2022, Norway was separately approved to purchase up 265 AIM-120D-model AMRAAMs – the latest variant of the combat-proven guided missile.

While the AMRAAM is most commonly thought of as an air-to-air weapon employed by fighter aircraft, the long-serving missile has also been adapted for use with ground-based air defences – which is the destination for the latest batch headed to Norway.

“The newly acquired missiles will be used for ground-based air defence in the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) but may be subject to dual use with the F-35A,” the state department says.

NASAMS was jointly developed by RTX and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, and has seen combat service in Ukraine.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force has a programme of record covering 52 F-35As, with 42 jets currently in service, according to Cirium data.

Nordic neighbour Denmark separately received approval on 7 June for its own AMRAAM purchase, covering 84 AIM-120Cs at a cost of $215 million.