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Northrop Grumman Corporation announced on Sep. 25, 2023 the US Air Force (USAF) has awarded the company an approximately $705 million contract to deliver the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), an air-to-ground weapon that accelerates the pivot to a new generation of air power.
Susan Bruce, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman, said in a company news release: “Northrop Grumman’s SiAW delivers on the Air Force’s desire for its first digital weapons acquisition and development program. With our expert digital engineering capabilities, this next-generation missile represents an adaptable, affordable way for the Department of Defense to buy and modernize weapons.”
SiAW is an air-to-ground weapon that will provide strike capability to defeat rapidly relocatable targets as part of an enemy’s anti-access/area denial environment. To adapt to ever-changing threats, the missile design features open architecture interfaces that will allow for rapid subsystem upgrades to field enhanced capabilities to the warfighter.
Phase 2 development is a continuation of the Air Force requirement for this first-of-its-kind Middle Tier Acquisition large weapon program focused on digital engineering, Weapon Open System Architecture and agility. The Air Force is targeting an initial operational capability by 2026. Phase 2 consists of two primary increments:
As reported by Air & Space Forces Magazine, the Air Force was looking toward a five-year development and production program that will provide SiAWs to operational units by 2026 under previous, classified competitive Phase 1 contracts to Northrop, L3Harris, and Lockheed Martin. The F-35 is the initial platform for the SiAW, and the USAF has indicated the B-21 bomber may also carry the weapon.
Northrop’s SiAW builds on its Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM), which in turn succeeds the AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile). The HARM, which entered service in the 1980s, was used with great effect during Operation Desert Storm by quickly homing in on and destroying ground-based search and track radars before they had a chance to move to a new location. The weapon was so effective that Iraqi radar operators were deterred from turning on their systems, knowing a HARM would likely arrive a few seconds later.
Photo credit: Northrop Grumman
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