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US Navy advances anti-radiation missile program

The US Navy has completed the fourth flight test of the Northrop Grumman-built guided missile.

The US Navy has completed the fourth flight test of the Northrop Grumman-built guided missile.

Northrop Grumman has reported the fourth successful flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER).

The missile was launched by the US Navy from a F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California.

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According to the prime, the missile successfully engaged an operationally-representative, moving maritime target.

“AARGM-ER’s performance during testing continues to validate the missile’s ability to detect, identify, locate and effectively engage critical air-defence targets from an extended range,” Captain Alex Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242), said.

“This test proved the systems’ ability to engage moving maritime targets, a vital capability supporting our Navy’s ability to control sea lanes during conflict.

“Congratulations to the government/industry team for their continual focus on delivering this crucial capability to our warfighters.”

Northrop Grumman has been contracted to deliver production units of AARGM-ER to support initial operational capability (IOC) fielding within the next two years.

The prime has secured a low-rate initial production contract for both the first and second lots of AARGM-ER.

AARGM-ER leverages existing AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models, as well as a new high-performance air vehicle, solid rocket motor and advanced warhead.

This is tipped to provide counter-air-defence capability for US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warfighters.

“The necessity for a reliable, stand-off, survivable weapon continues to grow as our adversaries’ threat systems become longer range and more lethal,” Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman, said.

“AARGM-ER continues to demonstrate the ability to affordably meet mission requirements and safeguard those protecting our country.”

The next-generation anti-radiation missile is expected to be deployed form Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft, as well as the US Air Force’s F-35 fleet.

 [Related: Northrop Grumman secures UH-60V contract

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