Italy Receives U.S. Nod to Buy AMRAAM Missiles, Small Diameter Bombs

Italy intends to deploy these weapons on its F-35 jets
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  • 02:04 PM, February 16, 2024
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Italy Receives U.S. Nod to Buy AMRAAM Missiles, Small Diameter Bombs
Italian Air Force F-35A fighter

The U.S. State Department has given its approval for the potential sale of air-to-air missiles and small diameter bombs to Italy, as disclosed by the Pentagon on Thursday.

Italy has submitted a request to acquire 125 small diameter bombs along with related equipment, estimated to cost $150 million, and 12 AIM advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, with an estimated cost of $69.3 million.

The prime contractor for both proposed sales is RTX Corp. Despite the State Department's approval, the notification does not confirm the signing of a contract or the conclusion of negotiations. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has issued the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale.

For the air-to-air missiles, the Government of Italy has requested twelve AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) for an estimated cost of $69.3 million. These missiles will be added to a previously implemented case, bringing the total to 24 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM missiles. The package includes various equipment, support, logistics, and program elements, totaling an estimated cost of $69.3 million. Italy is said to have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces, given its existing inventory of AMRAAMs.

Italy has also sought to purchase 125 Guided Bomb Unit (GBU)-53/B Small Diameter Bombs-Increment II (SDB-II) All-Up-Rounds (AURs) and eight GBU-53/B SDB-II Captive Carry Reliability Tests (CCRTs). This request, valued at $150 million, includes a mix of previously approved and new FMS cases. Similar to the air-to-air missiles, the package encompasses various support, training, and logistics elements.

The sale will enhance Italy's capability to address current and future threats by improving the F-35 weapons capabilities of the Italian Air Force and Navy, the Pentagon said.

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