“The block upgrade testing demonstrated that the hardware, software and aircraft systems all worked together resulting in the successful live fire of the weapon. We look forward to rolling out these upgrades throughout the fleet, upon the successful completion of follow-on operational testing,” said Bill Kasting, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Defense Electronic Systems division of the Defense System’s Group.
The AARGM shot was launched from a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet in a scenario designed to test the missile’s capabilities against mobile ship targets employing advanced tactics. The AARGM utilized its advanced anti-radiation homing sensor and millimeter wave radar to successfully detect, identify, locate and engage the moving maritime target.
Orbital ATK participated in the missile firing as a member of the U.S. Navy's Integrated Product Team, led by the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office. Team members from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division - China Lake led the AARGM Block 1 Upgrade test. Additional test team members included Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division – Point Mugu, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Three One, and the Naval Air Systems Command.
AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with advanced capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense missions. AARGM provides the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.
AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. AARGM achieved Initial Operational Capability in July 2012 and was approved by the Navy for Full Rate Production in September 2012.
AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons system on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is anticipated to achieve Initial Operational Capability on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado ECR aircraft in 2017.
Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group is an industry leader in providing innovative and affordable precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition and related energetic products.