The US Navy’s Northrop Grumman AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) missile has received Milestone C (MS-C) approval to proceed to the production phase of the program.
The approval comes three weeks after the successful first flight of a powered missile from a US Navy F/A-18F test aircraft over the southern California test ranges. A US Navy release says it expects to award two production lots to Northrop Grumman in the coming months.
“The combined government/industry team has worked tirelessly over the last few years to reach this milestone,” The USN’s Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) program manager, Capt Alex Dutko said in the release. “We look forward to getting this new weapon with its increased capability and lethality out to the fleet as soon as possible.”
In a company statement, Northrop Grumman’s vice president advanced weapons, Gordon Turner said, “AARGM, and now AARGM-ER, is a time-critical capability that protects and enhances the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and the evolving threats they encounter.
“We are honoured to continue providing advanced suppression and destruction of enemy air defense products to the warfighters with this significant expansion to our missile prime business.”
The AARGM-ER is an advanced development of the AGM-88 HARM which entered service in 1985, and its AGM-84E AARGM development which entered service in 2012. It adds a new aerodynamic lifting body and rocket motor to the AGM-88E’s enhanced sensors and software.