Orbital ATK rolls out AARGM Block 1 software upgrade


Aerospace and defence company Orbital ATK is delivering a Block 1 software upgrade to the US Navy's advanced anti-radiation guided missile (AARGM).

The company previously collaborated with the navy to test and demonstrate the software upgrade's effectiveness earlier this year.

Orbital ATK Defence Systems Group Defence Electronic Systems Division vice-president and general manager Cary Ralston said: “Fielding Block 1 software provides US and allied forces with a higher performance against air defence systems.

“Our ultimate goal is to protect warfighters and AARGM allows them to quickly, safely and accurately locate and destroy targets whether on land or on the sea, while remaining out of harm’s way.”

Orbital ATK’s AARGM was developed to upgrade the traditional AGM-88 high-speed, anti-radiation missile system (HARM).

"Our ultimate goal is to protect warfighters and AARGM allows them to quickly, safely and accurately locate and destroy targets whether on land or on the sea."

It is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile solution equipped with an additional capability to successfully carry out the destruction of enemy air-defence missions.

The advanced missile system also has the potential to rapidly engage both traditional and latest land and sea based air-defence threats, as well as non-radar targets by leveraging a global positioning system (GPS) / inertial navigation system (INS) guidance and millimetre wave (MMW) guidance.

The AARGM is currently being deployed to support US Navy and US Marine Corps operational requirements and is compatible with a wide range of aircraft, including the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler.

It is also expected to attain initial operational capability on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado ECR aircraft next year.

Orbital ATK has provided the advanced and cost-effective missile system to the US and allied customers as part of a partnership with MBDA.

The company originally secured the $260m contract from the US Navy for the fourth and fifth full-rate production lots of the AARGM in September 2015.