|Quoting moo (Reply 3):|
is there a valid reason beside cost and availability to carry a mixed load of both?
Can't think of a single reason outside of cost and availability. Its fire&forget capability alone will ensure that. I don't believe that any version of the AIM-7 can out range or out-turn an AIM-120. The AIM-120 is lighter so is better that way too.
The only thing the AIM-7 may have over the AIM-120 is warhead size, it probably packs a bigger punch but that is down to having more 'miss' in its missile whereas you would expect the 120 to behave more as a 'hit'ile. The AIM-7 was originally developed to take down bombers whereas the AIM-120 was designed with fighter type targets in mind from the start.
So maybe if you want to shoot down transport type airframes the AIM-7 might be worth taking instead of an AIM-120