Northrop Grumman to build additional batch of radar-hunting AARGM missiles for U.S. and allied combat jets

Aug. 5, 2021
AARGM is a radar-hunting missile is for U.S. and allied combat jets like the F/A-18 fighter bomber, EA-18G electronic warfare jet, F-16, and F-35.

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, electronic warfare (EW) jets, and allied fighter-bombers.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $94.9 million contract Tuesday to the Northrop Grumman Corp. Innovation Systems segment (formerly Orbital ATK) in Northridge, Calif., for lot 10 full-rate-production of the AARGM anti-radar missiles.

The contract includes conversion of 87 U.S.-provided AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs); and 40 Germany Air Force-provided AGM-88B HARMs into 127 AGM-88E AARGM all-up-rounds for the F/A-18C/D and F/A-18E/F jet fighter-bombers, and EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) jet for the Navy and U.S. allies.

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The AARGM radar-hunting missile 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, 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.

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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.

On this contract, Northrop Grumman will do the work in Northridge, Calif., and Ridgecrest, Calif., and should be finished by March 2024. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Corp. online at, or Naval Air Systems Command at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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