Northrop Grumman has received a $705-million contract to supply new air-to-ground missiles for US Air Force F-35 combat jets.
As part of the deal, the company will deliver the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) to bolster the lethality and firepower of the fifth-generation fighter.
In the next 36 months, Northrop will further mature the missile by conducting platform integration and completing flight test efforts.
The SiAW is expected to achieve initial operational capability by 2026.
US Air Force F-35s carry two AIM-9X missiles on their wings and four AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles internally. It is unclear if the new Northrop weapon will replace those missiles or augment existing firepower.
About the SiAW
Northrop’s SiAW missile was designed to defeat anti-access/aerial denial system targets.
However, the company said the weapon could do more than neutralize air defense radars. It could also destroy command-and-control sites, ballistic missile and cruise missile launchers, and other high-value or fleeting targets.
It has multiple seeker sensors and uses GPS and other navigation systems for precision strikes.
The SiAW is supposed to be faster and more effective than the AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile), which travels up to 2,280 kilometers (1,416 miles) per hour.