Northrop Completes Third Captive Flight Test of Advanced Missile Prototype

Northrop Grumman completed its third captive flight test of an advanced, air-launched missile prototype, according to a company press release.

The internally-funded test was conducted at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, and was successful in identifying and discriminating modern, integrated air defense systems, according to the company.

The missile tracked intended targets in “a series of captive flight maneuvers using the company’s test aircraft,” Northrup stated.

Targeting Enemy Air Defense Systems

The weapon is being developed for various platforms and missions to target enemy air defense systems, allowing warfighters complete freedom of movement while completing missions from a safe standoff distance.

The munition design is a continuation of Raytheon’s work on the US Navy’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), “including engineering manufacturing and development, low-rate initial production, and integration work for F-35 aircraft.”

The missile design includes open architecture interfaces, allowing rapid upgrades that will guarantee enhanced capabilities to the military.

“By merging our weapons expertise and internal investments with our digital engineering proficiency, we are rapidly delivering advanced missile capabilities,” corporate vice president and Northrop Grumman Defense Systems president Mary Petrysyzn said. 

“This formula supports our strategy to design, test, and deliver technologically advanced capabilities ahead of schedule.”

Live-Firing Before End 2022

The company continues to draw on in-house digital engineering expertise and from military services such as the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Space Force, and NASA in the missile’s development.

Northrop Grumman is accelerating the development of the missile, plans more flight tests this year in increasingly realistic scenarios relevant to the AARGM-ER program, and will hold live-fire testing before the end of the year.


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