"Pawn Stars" purchase AIM-120 AMRAAM


For the big ordnance collectors:

foxnews.com/entertainment/20 … port-says/


I’m really bad with remembering dates, but I don’t think AMRAAM was operational on, or even designed for the F-4. I know that IOT&E was done on the F-15, and I think that was after the F-4 was retired, except for perhaps a few RFs used by AFMC for flight testing of various systems–not missiles.


Taber is correct as usual!

I was assigned to the AMRAAM/AIM-120 program office in 1980 and remained until Jan 1982 when we selected Hughes Missile Systems as the prime contractor for the AIM-120. Hughes was later bought by the losing contractor, Raytheon who still produces the missiles.

The first AMRAAM test shapes were launched in late 1980 with no giudence systems and during 1981 both contractors launched guided versions of their missiles. Hughes had significant problems developing a missile that perform as proposed and development was significantly delayed. Hughes had good technology but could not perform to the contract they had signed. The AMRAAM required an sophicated radar (for the day) and was intended for only the F-14, F-15, F-16 and F-18 in the US service. The US F-4 radars could not handle the missile. The German AF was interested in the AMRAAM in an upgraded version of their F-4s, but I have never heard whether they actually upgraded their aircraft radars and bought AMRAAMS, perhaps one of our German members knows.

A 1991 IOC sounds a little early to me also. The AMRAAM was not used in DS/DS, and was first used operationally to shoot down an Iraqi fighter later in the No Fly Zone (around 1993 I think).

I have no idea what was actually sold on Pawn Stars. There are AMRAAM training shapes with some electronics in them, but lack a warhead, rocket motor, radar or guidence system. They simply give the pilot all the indications of a live missile. If something was sold this is likely what it is and the electronics fooled someone. I’d be very surprised if the radar or the guidence sections were in a missile that was out in the Pawn market. If so I suspect there is an investigation underway involving the FBI. As far as I know even the AIM-120A systems are classified. The AIM-120D is the latest version I have heard of.




German AF F-4’s were indeed upgraded for use of the AIM-120.