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US Navy awards contract for extended-range missiles

4th October 2021 - 14:24 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The AARGM-ER is launched from a US Navy F/A-18 during a successful live fire test at Point Mugu Sea Test Range, California. (Photo: US Navy)

The US Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to produce their AGM-88G AARGM-ER.

Northrop Grumman has been awarded an LRIP contract by the US Navy for their AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER).

The AARGM-ER is a major upgrade to the existing AARGM, currently in production and fielded with the US Navy and other international allies.

Not only does the AARGM-ER provide greater range and speed than the AGM-88E AARGM, but it may also operate as a sensor while on the rail.

This enables the missile to feed data back into the aircraft for onward transmission or to increase cockpit situational awareness.  

The AARGM-ER is being integrated on the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35C; the Air Force’s F-35A; and the Marine Corps' F-35B.

It has been modified so that it is shorter in length than the AARGM and can fit in the internal weapons bay of F-35As and F-25Cs.

The first AARGM-ER guided test flight occurred on 19 July, when the missile was successfully launched from an F/A-18F Super Hornet, as pictured above.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, AARGM-ER is scheduled to achieve IOC on Super Hornets in September 2023, following a test programme with 15 to 17 live-fire tests.

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