The prime has tested an internally funded missile designed to neutralise enemy air defence systems.
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Northrop Grumman has announced the third successful flight test of its prototype missile development series, which involved testing the capabilities of its internally funded air-launched missile.
The multi-domain capability — tested at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California — reportedly identified and discriminated integrated air defence systems, tracking intended targets during captive flight manoeuvres from Northrop Grumman’s test aircraft.
The capability is designed to target enemy air defence systems, helping to secure the mobility of deployed forces.
The design forms part of the company’s existing work under the US Navy’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) system, which includes engineering, manufacturing and development, low-rate initial production and integration work for F-35 aircraft.
According to Northrop Grumman, the missile design reportedly features open architecture interfaces, designed to enable rapid subsystem upgrades to field enhanced capabilities in line with changing warfighting requirements.
“By merging our weapons expertise and internal investments with our digital engineering proficiency, we are rapidly delivering advanced missile capabilities,” Mary Petrysyzn, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems, said.
“This formula supports our strategy to design, test and deliver technologically advanced capabilities ahead of schedule.”
The prime is expected to commence live fire testing of the internally funded missile later this year following additional flight tests.
This was Northrop Grumman’s latest missile test, coming just weeks after the company confirmed a second successful flight test of the scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) in cooperation with Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Air Force.
Drawing from results of the first flight test, the exercise aimed to mature the operationally relevant weapon concept design.
HAWC was released from an aircraft and accelerated to hypersonic speeds leveraging the scramjet engine, with the vehicle flying a trajectory that engineers designed to intentionally stress the weapon concept and explore its limits.
The test reportedly achieved all primary and secondary objectives, which included demonstrating tactical range capabilities.