The prime has completed the second flight test of its anti-radiation guided missile a month after securing a second contract to commence initial low-rate production.
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Northrop Grumman has tested its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) for the second time, with the US Navy successfully launching the missile from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California.
According to the prime, the missile performed an extended range profile, engaging a land-based, emitter target located at the range on San Nicolas Island.
The second flight test aimed to verify AARGM-ER’s ability to detect, identify, locate and engage a land-based air defence radar system from an extended range.
“Through the exceptional efforts of our government/industry team, we are another step closer to delivering capability to suppress the most advanced adversary air-defence systems without putting our warfighters in danger,” Captain Alex Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242), said.
After achieving a Milestone C Decision in September 2021, which authorised the missile for low-rate initial production (LRIP), the company received a US$45.6 million ($64 million) contract in December for the second lot of AARGM-ER LRIP.
The prime contractor is expected to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) by 2023.
AARGM-ER leverages existing AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models as well as a new high-performance air vehicle, solid rocket motor propulsion system and advanced warhead.
“AARGM-ER provides the US Navy with the capability to stay ahead of evolving threats,” Mary Petryszyn, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems, said.
“This flight test further demonstrated the critical capability of AARGM-ER to precisely engage long-range threats, while enabling launching aircrew to remain at a safe distance.”
AARGM-ER is set to be deployed from F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35A/B/C aircraft.