Weapons

AGM-88G AARGM-ER successfully engages moving maritime target on 4th flight test

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.

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“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

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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