February 22, 2009, Abu Dhabi -- The United Arab Emirates has struck a deal with the U.S. government to become the first regional user of Raytheon's latest version of the advanced medium range air-to-air missile, the AIM-120C-7.
The governments have signed a letter of agreement that will see just over 220 C-7s delivered to the UAE, said Rico Rodriguez, Raytheon Missile System's business development manager for air warfare programs.
The AIM-120 sale was the first major deal of the IDEX defense show, which opened here Feb. 22.
The new weapon will equip the already formidable Lockheed Martin F-16 Bock 60 fighters now in service with the air force here.
The air force currently operates the less-capable C-5 version of the weapon on the F-16s.
The new weapon offers an upgraded and repackaged guidance system. The weapon has sufficient growth opportunities to meet emerging threats, Rodriguez said.
Aside from the U.S. military, the C-7 is used by Greek and Taiwanese air forces. Finland and South Korea are also in line to operate the weapon.
The missile sale was the second deal announced by Raytheon in the Middle East in the last couple of weeks.
Earlier this month, the company announced its infrared upgrade kits were to equip a variety of Egyptian and Iraqi armored vehicles.
The value of the Foreign Military Sales deal was put at $173 million. (defencenews)
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