The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman $165 million for Lot 9 full rate production (FRP) of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) in March.
Assets will include all-up round missiles and captive air training missiles (CATMs) for the U.S. Navy and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.
“AARGM provides the U.S. Navy and allies unmatched protection to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats regardless of threat tactics and capabilities,” said Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman’s AGM-88E AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system that upgrades legacy AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) systems with advanced capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (DEAD) and Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) missions. It is able to rapidly engage land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.
According to Northrop Grumman, AARGM is the most advanced system for pilots against today’s modern surface-to-air threats.
AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major defense acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC).
The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and the Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft operated by the Italian Air Force.
Northrop Grumman is also developing an extended-range variant of the AGM-88E AARGM, called AGM-88G AARGM-ER. The AARGM-ER integrates existing AARGM sensors and electronics with an upgraded rocket motor and tail control system for double the range.
The developmental contract for the AARGM-ER upgrade was awarded to Orbital ATK in January 2018. Orbital ATK was then acquired by Northrop Grumman. The AARGM-ER will be integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.
The AARGM-ER will serve as the basis for the U.S. Air Force’s Stand in Attack Weapon (SiAW) to equip its F-35As. According to an Air Force request for information (RFI), SiAW is an air-to-ground weapon designed to hold at risk surface elements of the anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environment.