Right on Target

The AIM-120D, the newest version of the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile that the Air Force is buying, destroyed an unmanned target drone during a recent developmental flight test, according to Raytheon, the missile’s maker. A Navy F/A-18F fighter fired the AIM-120D against a QF-4 drone on May 22 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the company said in an Aug. 5 release that announced the heretofore undisclosed shootdown. “This test is another important milestone on the road to putting the AIM-120D in the hands of the US warfighter,” Col. Scott Rumph, commander of the Air Force’s 328th Armament Systems Group, said in the release. The Air Force ordered 98 AIM-120Ds under a contract announced in late May. The D model builds upon its predecessor the AIM-120C7 by offering increased jam resistance in the face of adversary electronic attack systems as well as a two-way datalink and GPS-aided navigation.