The US Navy launched the AGM-88G AARGM-ER from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft successfully engaging an operationally-representative, moving maritime target.
Northrop Grumman has completed the fourth successful flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The US Navy launched the missile from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft on Nov. 30, 2022 at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California, successfully engaging an operationally-representative, moving maritime target.
“AARGM-ER’s performance during testing continues to validate the missile’s ability to detect, identify, locate and effectively engage critical air-defense targets from an extended range,” said CAPT. Alex Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242), in a company news release. “This test proved the systems’ ability to engage moving maritime targets, a vital capability supporting our Navy’s ability to control sea lanes during conflict. Congratulations to the government/industry team for their continual focus on delivering this crucial capability to our warfighters.”
Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to deliver production units of AARGM-ER to support Initial Operational Capability fielding within the next two years. Northrop Grumman has received a low-rate initial production contract for the first and second lots of AARGM-ER.
AARGM-ER leverages existing AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models with the addition of a new high-performance air vehicle, solid rocket motor and advanced warhead to provide vital counter-air-defense capability for US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warfighters.
“The necessity for a reliable, standoff, survivable weapon continues to grow as our adversaries’ threat systems become longer range and more lethal,” said Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman. “AARGM-ER continues to demonstrate the ability to affordably meet mission requirements and safeguard those protecting our country.”
The AGM-88G AARGM-ER is being integrated on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and will also be compatible for integration on the F-35A/B/C.
The original AGM-88E AARGM is a medium-range air-to-ground missile employed for Suppression and/or Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD/DEAD). An ACAT IC Cooperative program with the Italian Air Force, the AARGM system is an upgrade and compliment to the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).
AARGM baseline capabilities include an expanded target set, counter-shutdown capability, advanced signals processing for improved detection and locating, geographic specificity providing aircrew the opportunity to define missile-impact zones and impact-avoidance zones, and a weapon impact-assessment broadcast capability providing for battle damage assessment cueing.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy