MINNEAPOLIS --- The AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) program has successfully completed a Milestone C review and received approval for entry into Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). Mr. Sean J. Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, rendered the decision in a September 30, 2008 Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) signaling the program had demonstrated compliance with all milestone criteria, including successful completion of an Operational Assessment (OA) test phase.>> Achievement of Milestone C formally signals that the missile system's maturity is sufficient to commence LRIP. AARGM, an upgrade to the U.S. Navy AGM-88 HARM system, is a U.S. and Italian international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent.>> Milestone C assessed program acquisition maturity of the weapon system as well as ATK's readiness for production. The key test event, an AARGM Operational Assessment (OA), was completed in August culminating in successful missile launches against air defense targets in a series of highly challenging operational scenarios. With these launches, AARGM has successfully executed eleven live missile firings and numerous captive carry flights against a wide array of targets.>> "The combined ATK, Navy, and Italian team achieved Milestone C consistent with the program's original Milestone B plan," said Jack Cronin, President, ATK Mission Systems. "ATK is ready to commence production of an affordable, precise, and lethal multi-role strike and Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (DEAD) weapon for U.S., Italian and other Allied Forces." When fielded in 2010, AARGM will be the only extended range tactical supersonic multi-role strike weapon in the U.S. and Italian inventories. "AARGM delivers a game-changing capability to our fleet," says Rear Admiral Kenny Floyd, Director of Air Warfare at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations N88. "Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our acquisition, industry, and test community professionals, with this Milestone C achievement, our warfighters can look forward to having the best destruction of enemy air defense weapon at their disposal.