The US Navy has live-tested an AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) for the first time, manufacturer Northrop Grumman revealed in a statement.
The missile was fired from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California on July 19.
“The AARGM-ER was successfully launched from the F/A-18 aircraft and met the key test objectives of a first missile live-fire event,” Navy Program Manager Captain A.C. “Count” Dutko said.
“The government and industry team had great focus and was able to conduct this test event three months earlier than originally envisioned.”
Upgraded Propulsion and Warhead
The missile leverages its predecessor, the AARGM, providing a technological upgrade over it, Northrop Grumman stated. The manufacturer earlier revealed that the upgraded missile would have a new rocket engine and warhead.
The AARGM-ER passed a critical design review last year following “successful design verification tests of key components.”
The projectile successfully demonstrated its propulsion and warhead capacity during the design verification tests.
Northrop Grumman was awarded a $165 million contract in March last year for the full-rate production of AARGM.
The AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, an upgrade over the AGM-88 HARM (Anti-to-Ground High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) in service since 1985.
“AARGM provides the critical ability to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats enabling the penetration of adversary anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) domains required by US warfighters and allies,” Northrop Grumman stated.
The missile is deployed on both of the navy’s F/A-18s — the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler — and the US Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B, and Navy and Marine Corps F-35C.