Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $171.2 million order on Wednesday to the Orbital ATK Inc. Defense Electronic Systems segment in Northridge, Calif., to convert AGM-88B HARM munitions into AGM-88E AARGM all-up-rounds.
The contract, which involves lot 7 of AARGM production, includes eight captive air training missiles and 10 AGM-88E AARGM all-up rounds for foreign military sales (FMS) customers; supplies and services for AARGM manufacture; spare parts; and fleet deployment to include all-up rounds and guidance and control section spares.
The newest version of the AGM-88 missile 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, ATK officials say. The missile program is a joint venture by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Italian Ministry of Defense.
The AARGM features an advanced digital anti-radiation homing sensor, millimeter wave radar terminal seeker, global positioning system/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS) guidance, net-centric connectivity, and weapon-impact-assessment transmit (WIA).
The AGM-88E enables the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Italian air force, and Australian armed forces to engage and destroy enemy air defenses and time-critical mobile targets.
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 2020.
For more information contact Orbital ATK Defense Electronic Systems online at www.orbitalatk.com.
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