PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 1 Aug. 2010. The U.S. Navy is moving ahead with a project to improve the capability of U.S. air-to-ground missiles designed to suppress enemy air defenses to pinpoint and destroy enemy radar systems even if those radars have been switched off or deploy missile countermeasures.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., awarded at $50.1 million contract Friday to Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) Defense Electronics Systems Division in Woodland Hills, Calif., for the second batch of low-rate production of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM).
The AARGM program is developing a dual-mode guidance section for the U.S. AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), which is the primary U.S. weapon to seek and destroy enemy radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles and launcher sites. HARM homes in on enemy radar signals and follows those signals to their sources.
One persistent problem with HARM and its predecessors, such as the AGM-45 Shrike missile, is dealing with enemy radar systems that switch off to protect themselves from anti-radar missiles like HARM and Shrike. The AARGM, however, is designed with a dual-mode seeker that blends anti-radar homing and active millimeter wave radar to locate and destroy enemy air defenses even after their radars shut down or employ countermeasures.
Under terms of the contract awarded Friday, ATK will convert 37 government-furnished HARM missiles into AGM-88E AARGM all-up round/captive air training missile systems -- 33 for the U.S. Navy, and four for the government of Italy.
The AARGM guidance section has a passive anti-radiation homing receiver and antennas, a global positioning system, inertial navigation system, and an active millimeter wave radar for terminal guidance. Furthermore, the seeker will be able to transmit data to orbiting satellites just before hitting its target to inform command authorities if its target has been destroyed or not.
For more information contact ATK Defense Electronics Systems online at www.atk.com.