The U.S. Navy awarded Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Defense Systems Inc., a contract valued $41.23 million for AGM-88G AARGM-ER missiles.
“This contract procures low rate initial production Lot One of the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile - Extended Range (AARGM-ER). This contract provides for the production and delivery of 16 AGM-88G AARGM-ER All Up Rounds, six AGM-88G AARGM-ER Captive Air Training Missiles, four Common Munitions BIT Reprogramming Equipment Plus interface devices, initial spares, and required supplies and support,” a Pentagon release said Tuesday.
The Navy approved the AARGM-ER missile to enter production phase last month. On August 23, the missile received Milestone C (MS-C) approval, allowing the program to move into its first phase of production.
The AARGM-ER is an advanced and extended-range version of the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). It is a new variant of the AGM-88E missile that equips Navy carrier-based fighter-bombers and electronic warfare jets. AARGM is a supersonic, medium-range, air-launched tactical missile compatible with U.S. and allied strike aircraft. The AARGM-ER missile features several upgrades to the AGM-88E that focus on extending the weapon's operational range and survivability.
The AARGM-ER replaces the missile's rocket motor and tail to increase its range, while keeping the sensors and electronics of the AARGM-88E, which are being upgraded in a separate project.
The new missile utilizes the AARGM's warhead and guidance systems in a new airframe that replaces the mid-body wings with aerodynamic strakes along the sides with control surfaces relocated to low-drag tail surfaces and a more powerful propulsion system for greater speed and range. It reportedly double the range and speed of AGM-88E which would result in the AGM-88G's range being around 300 km and speed of Mach 4
The missile is being integrated on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as the Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B, and Navy F-35C aircraft.
Initial operational capability of the AARGM-ER missile is planned for 2023.