AIM-120A

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Description

The AIM-120A is an American active radar-homing air-to-air missile. It was introduced in Update "Seek & Destroy".

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the missile.

Missile characteristics
Mass 147.87 kg
Guidance ARH+IOG+DL
Band I
Lock range 16 km
Launch range 80 km
Maximum speed 4.0 M
Maximum overload 35 G
Missile guidance time 80 secs
Explosive mass 9.81 kg TNTeq

Effective damage

The warhead on the AIM-120A is similar to that of the AIM-7 Sparrow missiles, generally sufficient for destroying fighter aircraft with one hit.

Comparison with analogues

The AIM-120A has higher effective range when compared to other medium-range active radar missiles, due to its powerful boost-sustain motor, low drag, and low mass, but it cannot match the close-range manoeuvrability of missiles such as the MICA-EM, Derby, or R-77, lacking thrust vectoring or high angle control surfaces.

Usage in battles

The AIM-120A AMRAAM is a versatile missile, capable of filling both the role of a medium range BVR weapon and a dogfight missile. It can effectively out-range the AIM-7F/M missiles while also accelerating faster and having active radar guidance, similar to the AIM-54 Phoenix, allowing the launching aircraft to employ defensive manoeuvres once the missile has activated its own seeker at a distance of about 16 kilometres from the target.

Practical employment of the AIM-120 can be anywhere from 1-30 kilometres depending on the relative target aspect and altitude. The high 35G pull allows for effective employment at close ranges when paired with a HMD capable radar. This will be the main weapon for high tier American fighter jets.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good practical range when compared to other medium-range AAMs.
  • High G pull allows for use in close combat over AIM-9M.
  • Active radar homing increases launch platform survivability.
  • Pulse-Doppler seeker allows the missile to track targets at low altitudes.

Cons:

  • Less manoeuvrable than other medium-range AAMs.
  • Low mass lead to suboptimal energy retention and wobbling in terminal flight phases.
  • Still kinematically outmatched by missiles such as the R-27ER.

History

Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of the weapon in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the weapon and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Weapon-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />.

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the weapon;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Missiles
USA 
AAM  AIM-54A Phoenix · AIM-54C Phoenix · ATAS (AIM-92) · AIM-120A · AIM-120B
Sparrow  AIM-7C · AIM-7D · AIM-7E · AIM-7E-2 · AIM-7F · AIM-7M
Sidewinder  AIM-9B · AIM-9C · AIM-9D · AIM-9E · AIM-9G · AIM-9H · AIM-9J · AIM-9L · AIM-9M · AIM-9P
AGM  AGM-22 · APKWS II (M151) · APKWS II (M282) · BGM-71D TOW-2
Bullpup  AGM-12B Bullpup · AGM-12C Bullpup
Hellfire  AGM-114B Hellfire · AGM-114K Hellfire II
Maverick  AGM-65A · AGM-65B · AGM-65D
ATGM  LOSAT/MGM-166A
TOW  BGM-71 · BGM-71A · BGM-71B · BGM-71C
SAM  FIM-92 Stinger · MIM-72 · MIM146
Naval SAM  RIM-24A
Germany 
AAM  AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder · Flz Lwf 63/80
AGM  9M14M Malyutka · Flz Lwf LB 82 · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · PARS 3 LR
AShM  AS.34 Kormoran
ATGM  HOT-K3S
SAM  Roland
Naval SAM  Strela-2M
USSR 
AAM  9M39 Igla · R-3R · R-3S · R-13M1 · R-23R · R-23T · R-24R · R-24T · R-27ER(1) · R-27ET(1) · R-27R(1) · R-27T(1) · R-60 · R-60M · R-60MK · R-73(E) · R-77
AGM  9K127 Vikhr · 9M17M Falanga · 9M120 Ataka · 9M120-1 Ataka
  Kh-23M · Kh-25 · Kh-25ML · Kh-29L · Kh-29T · Kh-29TE · Kh-29TD · Kh-66 · S-25L
ATGM  3M7 · 9M14 · 9M113 Konkurs · 9M114 Shturm · 9M123 Khrizantema · 9M133 · 9M133FM3 · 9M133M-2
SAM  95Ya6 · 9M311 · 9M311-1M · 9M331 · 9M37M
Naval SAM  Volna-M
Britain 
AAM  Fireflash · Firestreak · Red Top · Skyflash · Skyflash SuperTEMP · SRAAM · R-Darter
AGM  AS.12 · ZT-6 Mokopa
AShM  AJ.168
ATGM  BAe Swingfire · MILAN · MILAN 2 · ZT3
SAM  Starstreak
Japan 
AAM  AAM-3 · AAM-4
AGM  Ki-148 I-Go Model 1B
ATGM  Type 64 MAT · Type 79 Jyu-MAT
SAM  Type 81 SAM-1C · Type 91
China 
AAM  PL-2 · PL-5B · PL-5C · PL-7 · PL-8 · TY-90 · PL-12
AGM  AKD-9 · AKD-10 · HJ-8A · HJ-8C · HJ-8E · HJ-8H
ATGM  302 · HJ-73 · HJ-73E · HJ-9 · QN201DD · QN502CDD
SAM  HN-6
Italy 
AAM  Aspide-1A
AGM  CIRIT · L-UMTAS · Spike ER
ATGM  Spike-LR2MR
Naval AShM  Nettuno
SAM  Mistral SATCP
France 
AAM  AA-20 Nord · Matra R511 · Matra R530 · Matra R530E · Matra Super 530D · Matra Super 530F · Matra R550 Magic 1 · Matra R550 Magic 2 · Mistral · MICA-EM
AGM  9M14-2 Malyutka-2 · AS-20 Nord · AS-30 Nord · AS-30L Nord · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · Spike ER
ATGM  HOT · SS.11
SAM  Roland · VT1
Sweden 
AAM  RB24 · RB24J · RB71 · RB 74 · RB 74(M) · RB 99
AGM  Rb05A · RB 53 Bantam · RB 55B Heli TOW · RB 55C Heli TOW · RB 75
ATGM  Rbs 55 · Rbs 56
SAM  Rbs 70
Israel 
AAM  Shafrir · Shafrir 2 · Python 3 · Derby
ATGM  Spike-LR2 · Spike-MR
  AAM = Air-to-Air Missile   AGM = Air-to-Ground Missile   AShM = Anti-Ship Missile   ATGM = Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Ground mounts)   SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile