Two new rotorcraft aviation units or commands have been set up at opposite ends of the Asia-Pacific region.
US Navy awards contract for extended-range missiles
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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