Progress and Problems of the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Program

Gao ID: C-MASAD-81-6 February 23, 1981

The Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) is being developed as an all-weather, air-to-air missile responding to Air Force and Navy operational requirements for the 1985-2005 timeframe. Operating within and beyond visual range, AMRAAM is to be compatible with the F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18 and other appropriate aircraft. It is intended to replace the aging SPARROW medium range air-to-air missile. GAO was severely hampered in its review of AMRAAM because the Air Force withheld most of the current cost, schedule, and performance data on the basis of the data being competition sensitive. Therefore, the program's status could not be fully assessed.

The following problems related to the AMRAAM program were identified: (1) the Air Force and Navy may be unable to fully test AMRAAM during full-scale engineering development because of deficiencies in high altitude, high speed targets; (2) operational questions exist regarding the full use of AMRAAM in a beyond visual range role; and (3) the total costs related to AMRAAM have not been estimated, but available information shows that total costs will be much more than the $3.9 billion life-cycle cost forecasted in January 1979.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Donald E. Day Team: General Accounting Office: Mission Analysis and Systems Acquisition Division Phone: (202) 275-8408

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