PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. — U.S. Navy air warfare experts are upgrading 230 air-to-ground, radar-killing AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) systems to the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) to equip the service's carrier-based fighter-bombers and electronic warfare jets.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $156.8 million contract to the Orbital ATK Defense Electronic Systems segment in Northridge, Calif., to convert AGM-88B HARM munitions into 230 AGM-88E AARGM all-up-rounds. The contract, which involves lot 6 of AARGM production, includes six captive air training missiles, supplies, services, spare parts, and fleet deployment.
The AGM-88E AARGM missile is designed to suppress enemy air defenses by homing-in on and killing hostile radar installations.
The newest version of the AGM-88 missile is compatible with U.S. and allied strike aircraft, including the F/A-18 fighter bomber, EA-18G electronic warfare jet, Tornado, F-16, and F-35. The missile program is a joint venture by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Italian Ministry of Defense. The AGM-88E provides the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Italian air force with the ability to engage and destroy enemy air defenses and time-critical mobile targets.
The AARGM boasts an advanced, digital, anti-radiation homing sensor, millimeter-wave radar terminal seeker, global positioning system/inertial navigation system guidance, net-centric connectivity, and weapon-impact-assessment transmit.
The new missile offers improved capabilities over the HARM systems it replaces, including advanced signal processing, improved frequency coverage, detection range, and field of view; time-critical, standoff strike; missile-impact zone control to prevent collateral damage; counter-emitter shutdown through active millimeter-wave radar terminal guidance; and bomb damage assessment.
The AARGM features new software and enhanced capabilities to counter radar shutdown and passive radar using an additional active millimeter-wave seeker. Previous versions of the missile could be spoofed by turning off radar before the weapon could lock on to their signals. The missile has been in full production since 2012.
The missile will be integrated onto the F/A-18C/D, F/A-18E/F, EA-18G, and Tornado ECR aircraft and later on the F-35. On this contract, ATK will do the work in Northridge, Calif., and Ridgecrest, Calif., and should be finished by March 2019.
For more information visit Orbital ATK Defense Electronic Systems online at www.orbitalatk.com/defense-systems/defense-electronic-systems.