Orbital secures $260m contract for fourth and fifth AARGM full-rate production


AARGM

Orbital ATK has secured a contract worth up to $260m from the US Navy for the fourth and fifth full-rate production lots of the advanced anti-radiation guided missile (AARGM).

The latest contract covers all-up round missiles and captive air training missiles for the US Navy and the Italian Air Force as well as the second foreign military sales order for the Royal Australian Air Force.

Orbital ATK Defense Systems Group Defense Electronic Systems division vice-president and general manager Bill Kasting said: "With the rapid proliferation of threats emerging around the world, AARGM provides significant advanced capabilities to those protecting our nation each and every day.

"AARGM continues to provide the US Navy and our allies with the most advanced system against surface-to-air threats."

An upgraded version of the AGM-88 HARM, the AARGM supersonic air-launched tactical missile system can perform destruction of enemy air defence missions, in addition to engaging conventional and superior defence land and sea-based air-defence threats and non-radar time-sensitive strike targets.

"AARGM continues to provide the US Navy and our allies with the most advanced system against surface-to-air threats."

AARGM features sophisticated a system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against emerging surface-to-air threats.

The 417cm-long AARGM missile will be able to intercept targets within the range of over 60 nm while travelling at a speed of more than Mach 2.

The missile was granted Milestone C approval for low rate initial production (LRIP) in September 2008, while the independent operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) commenced in 2009.

The AARGM can be integrated on the FA-18 C/D, FA-18 E/F, EA-18 G, and Tornado ECR aircraft. It is also compatible with the F-35, EA-6B, and F-16 aircraft.


Image: An aircraft releasing the 417cm-long AARGM missile. Photo: courtesy of Orbital ATK Inc.