When it comes to ensuring the safety and security of the United States and its allies, Raytheon, an RTX business, already knows what the best, ready-now solutions are and how to scale them efficiently.

Air superiority and missile defense are critical to stay ahead of adversary threats and defend the nation. Over the last two years, conflict has escalated in the Middle East and Ukraine, while North Korea and China continue to develop, test, and field advanced aircraft and missile systems. As threats to the U.S. and its allies continue to grow, now is the time to invest in proven, cost-effective air-to-air and surface-to-air integrated deterrence systems.

For example, the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, is a combat-proven missile that has been kept in production for more than 30 years and it’s only improved with ongoing upgrades. It has also effectively defended Ukraine during the Russia-Ukraine war, reliably achieving near-perfect success rate against targets.

AMRAAM has been procured by the United States Air Force and Navy as well as allies in 43 countries and across 14 distinct platforms, including on the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS, and all F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants. Everywhere the U.S. and its allies are flying fighter aircrafts, AMRAAM is deployed.

Amidst heightened domestic and international demand, AMRAAM is the only system producing at mass in this sector, and it will be decades before anything else can match its capability, volume, mass, and inventory. Looking at mounting tensions around the world, it’s clear the luxury of time is running out.

The U.S. needs to capitalize on the good investments already made by the U.S. Government to ensure it has the capacity to continue addressing both emerging and evolving threats.

Forcefully countering the perception these missiles are outdated, legacy AIM-120 B and C missiles have successfully and effectively defended Ukraine against advanced threats for nearly two years, reliably achieving a 90% or higher success rate against targets.

But with dynamic threats and the technological advancements of U.S. adversaries, it is no time to be satisfied with legacy. The AMRAAMs rolling off the production lines today are not the AMRAAMs of decades past. Raytheon is driving new capability into the AMRAAM missile with form, fit and function refresh also known as F3R. Under the F3R program, engineers used model-based systems engineering initiatives and digital technologies to upgrade multiple circuit cards and other hardware in the guidance section of the missile.

The system also receives additional capability with software updates to improve the weapon’s guidance, range and performance, to ensure capability against advanced threats.

Raytheon is on track to field the latest variant, the AMRAAM AIM-120D-3 and AIM-120C-8 over the coming months. Highlighting all AMRAAM customers in the June 2023 $1.15 billion contract, to include Ukraine, will receive this new variant, complementing the existing inventory we’ve been able to provide to them up to this point.

Fears of obsolescence have effectively been turned on their heads. The AMRAAM missiles built today are fundamentally a new and updated product, leveraging significant infrastructure and existing industrial base capacity without the price tag associated with building something from scratch. Raytheon is reinventing what has worked into what is needed for next-generation fighters – and beyond.

None of these technical advancements matter if the military is unable to field weapons at the heightened pace of demand. The conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated stockpiles that were sufficient in times of relative peace will not last through an extended period of active conflict.

The defense industry has worked to strengthen and stabilize supply chains, increase production, and drive efficiencies in its manufacturing process.

As just one example, multiple AMRAAMs are coming off the factory line every single day at a rate higher than ever before.

But to meet future demand, Raytheon needs to secure a commitment from the U.S. government today. The U.S. Government has bet on reliability, ensuring the AMRAAM and other important parts of defensive operations have been available for the U.S. and as an important export to the international allied community. Now it’s time to provide much-needed certainty by signaling to the defense industry that it will be producing critical systems at meaningful rates for years to come – and should continue to invest in the important upgrades to further improve performance.

With multi-year contract commitments, America can be certain it will have the resources to deploy trusted and effective programs wherever and whenever they are needed.