PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy air warfare experts are ordering another batch of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) to equip the service's carrier-based fighter-bombers and electronic warfare (EW) jets.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $165 million order last week to the Northrop Grumman Corp. Innovation Systems segment (formerly Orbital ATK) in Northridge, Calif., for lot nine full-rate-production of the AARGM anti-radar missile.
The order includes converting Advanced Guided Missile-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) into 253 AGM-88E AARGM all up rounds for the Navy, and two captive air training missiles for Germany.
AARGM is the newest version of the AGM-88 missile, and 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 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, U.S. Marine Corps, and allied combat jets to attack and destroy enemy air defenses and time-critical mobile targets.
The 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, Northrop Grumman will do the work in Northridge, Calif., and Ridgecrest, Calif., and should be finished by March 2023.