Oman Requests SL-AMRAAM, Avenger Air Defense Systems

    3594

    Oman is requesting to receive an integrated air defense system based on the Boeing Avenger very short range air defense (VSHORAD) system, augmented with Surface launched medium range AIM-120 AMRAAM interceptors. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) estimates the value of this potential order at US$1.28 Billion. The package includes 18 fire units, an Improved AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar and 290 AIM-120C-7 290 AIM-120C-7 Surface- Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles. The system will also comprise six guidance sections, grouping self sustained elements comprising three fire units each.

    In April 2011 Raytheon has demonstrated the SL-AMRAAM capability to intercept a cruise missile, addressing one of the concerns of the Gulf states (UAE and Oman) seeking effective defenses against Iranian cruise missiles. Photo: Raytheon
    A larger version of the Avenger, mounting two AIM-9X and four Stinger missiles was displayed at the AUSA 2010 exhibition, mounted on an M-ATV vehicle. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense Update

    The announcement did not specify what platform will carry the SL-AMRAAM or, if it will be integrated on the Avenger system or operated independently on other launchers not listed in the package.

    Raytheon has originally developed the SL-AMRAAM system for the U.S. Marine Corps. After the corps cancelled the program SL-AMRAAM caught the interest of the U.S. Army, specifically, the AIr National Guard, which considered it a viable path for the Avenger upgrade. Despite this interest, in January 2011 but the program was terminated, but funding was provided to complete development and testing, maintaining the system for emergency operational capability and supporting export sales.

    In 2008 the DSCA announced the UAE expressed interest in buying Avengers and 288 SL-AMRAAM air defense weapons for $445 million. the UAE would have been the first customer of the system. No platform for the SL-AMRAMs was mentioned in this announcement either.

    Earlier this year Raytheon has demonstrated the SL-AMRAAM capability to intercept a cruise missile, addressing one of the concerns of the Gulf states (UAE and Oman) seeking effective defenses against Iranian cruise missiles.

    Raytheon displayed several configurations of SL-AMRAAM integrated with other missiles, but only two were mounted on the compact HMMWV. An SL-AMRAAM system integrated with AIM-9X sidewinder was displayed by Raytheon while Boeing have shown their version of the Avenger system integrated with the AIM-9X, at the 2010 AUSA exhibition.

    While the Boeing Company is the prime contractor of the Avenger system, Raytheon will be the largest beneficiary of this package, providing the two types of interceptors, as well as the software and hardware for the radar and fire control systems.