An advanced anti-radiation missile has been authorised to enter low-rate production after undergoing testing with the US Navy.
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Northrop Grumman’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) has officially achieved a ‘Milestone C’ decision, authorising the prime to commence low-rate initial production (LRIP).
This takes the company one step closer to achieving initial operating capability before its deployment on the US Navy’s fleet.
The authorisation comes just a month after the US Navy completed the first live-fire of the guided missiles, conducted at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California.
AARGM-ER leverages AARGM, providing protection and enhancing the capability of US Navy aircrew.
AARGM-ER is set to be integrated on the Boeing-built F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet and EA-18G Growler aircraft, while also supporting the US Air Force’s Lockheed Martin-built F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B, and Navy and Marine Corps F-35C aircraft.
“The additional capabilities of AARGM-ER, coupled with its high-performance air vehicle, will provide our fleet with the most advanced weapon system to defeat evolving surface-to-air threats,” Captain A.C. Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242), said.
“Our team has continued to prove the maturity of the system and we are confident AARGM-ER is ready to commence low-rate production.”
Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman, described AARGM-ER as a “time-critical capability”, which would improve the Navy’s capacity to counter evolving threats.
“We are honoured to continue providing advanced suppression and destruction of enemy air defence products to the warfighters with this significant expansion to our missile prime business,” Turner added.
[Related: US Navy test fires anti-radiation missile]