US Navy’s AARGM-ER hits the target in second flight test

Defense company Northrop Grumman Corporation revealed the successful completion of the second flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) built for the US Navy.

The US Navy launched the missile from a F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft on 21 January at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California. The missile performed an extended range profile, engaging a land-based, emitter target staged at the range on San Nicholas Island, according to the company.

“This second flight test verified AARGM-ER’s ability to detect, identify, locate and engage a land-based air defense radar system from an extended range,” said Captain A.C. Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242).

AARGM-ER leverages existing AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models with the addition of a new high-performance air vehicle, solid rocket motor propulsion system and advanced warhead. It is being integrated on the navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as F-35A/B/C aircraft.

“AARGM-ER provides the U.S. Navy with the capability to stay ahead of evolving threats,” said Mary Petryszyn, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems.

“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.”

Northrop Grumman achieved a Milestone C decision (authorization for low-rate initial production (LRIP)) in September 2021. The company is currently under contract to deliver production units of AARGM-ER to support a 2023 initial operational capability (IOC) fielding. 

In December 2021, Northrop Grumman received a $45.6M contract for the second lot of AARGM-ER LRIP.

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