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NASAMS launcher.
Battery of four SL-AMRAAM on HMMWV

The SLAMRAAM (Surface Launched AMRAAM) is the name of the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile used as a surface-to-air missile. Manufacturered by Raytheon, it was first used in the NASAMS system which had initial operational capability in 1994/95.


The Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, consists of a number of vehicle-pulled launch batteries (containing six AMRAAMs each) along with separate radar trucks and control station vehicles. A more recent version of the program is the High Mobility Launcher, made in cooperation with Raytheon (Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace was already a subcontractor on the SLAMRAAM system), where the launch-vehicle is a Humvee (M1152A1 HMMWV), containing four AMRAAMs each.[1]

Raytheon successfully tested launching AMRAAM missiles from a five-missile carrier on a M1097 Humvee. They receive their initial guidance information from a radar not mounted on the vehicle. Since the missile is launched without the benefit of an aircraft's speed or high altitude, its range is considerably shorter. Raytheon is currently marketing an SL-AMRAAM EX, purported to be an extended range AMRAAM and bearing a resemblance to the RIM-162 ESSM.

While still under evaluation for replacement of current US Army assets, the SL-AMRAAM has been deployed in several nations' military forces. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has requested the purchasing of SL-AMRAAM as part of a larger 7 billion dollar foreign military sales package. The sale would include 288 AMRAAM C-7 missiles.[2]

The US Army has test fired the SL-AMRAAM from a HIMARS artillery rocket launcher as a common launcher, as part of a move to switch to a larger and more survivable launch platform.[3][4]

On January 6, 2011, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that the U.S. Army has decided to terminate acquisition of the SLAMRAAM as part of a budget-cutting effort.[5]

The National Guard Association of the United States has sent a letter asking for the United States Senate to stop the Army's plan to drop the SLAMRAAM program because without it there would be no path to modernize the Guard's AN/TWQ-1 Avenger Battalions.[6]

On February 22, 2015 Raytheon announced an Extended Range upgrade to NASAMS-launched AMRAAM, calling it AMRAAM-ER. This combines the AMRAAM seeker with the ESSM rocket motor.[7]


AMRAAM missile range:
AIM-120A/B: 55–75 km
AIM-120C-5: >105 km
AIM-120D (C-8): >180 km

Note that ranges for AAMs are estimated for head-on encounters for fast moving aircraft at an altitude, and the range is significantly shorter when the same missiles are launched from stationary ground platforms. Further dimensioning for a stationary ground-launched-missile system is its maximum altitude reach, which by rule of thumb is one third of its maximum horizontal range.


On 22 February 2015, Raytheon announced the development of the Extended Range upgrade to the NASAMS AMRAAM missile offering (AMRAAM-ER). Development work began in 2014, and the missile is actually an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile using AMRAAM guidance. The first flight test took place in August 2016.[8] Production is expected by 2019.[9] Engagement envelope is expanded with a 50 percent increase in maximum range and 70 percent increase in maximum altitude.[10] In 2019 Qatar placed an order for AMRAAM-ER missiles as part of a NASAMS purchase.[11]


  1. ^ "New capability in the NASAMS air defence system". June 21, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  2. ^ "DSCA Announces Billions in Military Sales". Aviation Week. September 11, 2008. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  3. ^ HIMARS Launcher Successfully Fires Air Defense Missile Archived August 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Raytheon, Army test new SLAMRAAM platform". September 10, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  5. ^ "Statement on Department Budget and Efficiencies" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense. January 6, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  6. ^ "U.S. Army Recommends SLAMRAAM Termination". Retrieved April 12, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Judson, Jen (4 October 2016). "Raytheon's Extended Range AMRAAM Missile Destroys Target in First Flight Test". Sightline Media Group. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ - Goes long, flies high - Raytheon’s new extended-range, surface-to-air missile will enhance proven air defense system (2016-10-06)
  9. ^ Extended range air defence fires up -, 23 February 2015
  10. ^ Raytheon completes first AMRAAM-ER missile flight tests from NASAMS air defense system -, 5 October 2016
  11. ^ ROGOWAY, TYLER. "Qatar To Get New AMRAAM-ER Surface To Air Missiles, U.S. Capital May Be Next". The Drive. Retrieved 12 July 2019.

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