Northrop Grumman Corp. announced that the US Navy has approved low rate initial production (LRIP) for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER).
The AARGM-ER will be integrated into the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B, and Navy F-35C aircraft will also feature the new system.
This system is an upgrade to the current AARGM in service with the navy.
Navy Program Manager for Direct Time Sensitive Strike Captain Alex Dutko called the announcement of the LRIP “a significant step forward for AARGM-ER and the confidence the US Navy has in the program and its capabilities.”
Dutko added that the AARGM-ER will provide the navy and its allies “with unmatched protection.”
“The evolution of the AARGM family with AARGM-ER is a major step in our ability to provide the US and our allies with a superior capability to detect and defeat adversary air defense threats,” said Gordon Turner, vice president for advanced weapons at Northrop Grumman. “This milestone underscores the exceptional effort and professionalism demonstrated by the government and industry team.”
The budget for the AARGM-ER was introduced in the US Navy’s 2016 fiscal year proposal. Northrop Grumman unveiled its design for the system in September 2016.
Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop the system in January 2018.
With a new airframe and faster propulsion, the new design is expected to have double the range and speed compared to the current system.
It is expected to have a flight range of 300 km (186 mi) and a flight speed of up to Mach 4 (4,939 kph/3,069 mph).