ATK Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile completes live-fire test, on schedule for deployment

MINNEAPOLIS, 8 Sept. 2009. Alliant Techsystems, the U.S. Navy, and the Italian Air Force launched and scored a direct hit on a simulated enemy air defense target during the final development test (DT) firing of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

MINNEAPOLIS, 8 Sept. 2009. Alliant Techsystems, the U.S. Navy, and the Italian Air Force launched and scored a direct hit on a simulated enemy air defense target during the final development test (DT) firing of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

"This test firing was picture-perfect," says Tobin Touchstone, ATK Mission Systems vice president for Missiles. "Hardware, software, and aircraft systems all worked flawlessly and resulted in a successful firing."

The final AARGM DT shot launched from a U. S. Navy FA-18C Hornet in a scenario designed to test the missile's capabilities to maneuver and perform in a short time-of-flight profile under heavily counter-measured conditions.

During missile flight, AARGM detected, identified, and located an enemy air defense unit (ADU) using its anti-radiation-homing (ARH) receiver.

The missile demonstrated its ability to minimize collateral damage and friendly fire by navigating clear of pre-planned impact avoidance zones. In the terminal phase, AARGM used its multi-mode sensor suite to overcome advanced target countermeasures, accurately guiding towards and directly hitting the enemy ADU target, according to a representative.

The firing was the eighth and final developmental missile shot in AARGM's System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase.

"With the completion of our SDD test program, we move another step closer in making affordable, Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD) and strike capability a reality for U.S. and Coalition warfighters," says Jack Cronin, president, ATK Mission Systems. "AARGM's live-fire test performance across many demanding test scenarios has demonstrated this weapon's capability, versatility, and reliability."

This shot also marked the final firing in a month-long test series using the final missile hardware and software configuration intended for Navy Independent Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), which is planned to commence later this year.

"This final SDD phase test firing was a solid success and a testament to the professionalism of our international, government-industry team. Getting to this point took a concerted effort by a large group of talented professionals all pulling in the same direction," says Capt. Brian Corey, the U.S. Navy's program manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike programs (PMA-242). "Our collective efforts have now positioned AARGM for entry into Operational Evaluation."

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