The US Air Force has revealed that it has been secretly developing a new air-to-air missile to supersede the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).
The Lockheed Martin AIM-260 Joint Air Tactical Missile (JATM) is to be fielded initially by the USAF on its F-22A Raptors and by the US Navy on its F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as a direct counter to the Chinese PL-15 missile.
USAF Weapons Program Executive Officer (PEO) Brig Gen Anthony Genatempo told reporters at a media event at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, on June 20, that the missile team includes the navy and army, as well as Lockheed Martin. He said work began in 2017 and that initial operating capability is set for 2022.
It’s not the first time the AIM-260 has been publicly referred-to. In December 2018, a Naval Air Systems Command media release named the weapon in relation to a logistics award.