Orbital ATK has delivered its 500th advanced anti-radiation guided missile (AARGM) to the US Navy, marking a significant delivery milestone for the weapon.

The new missile was manufactured at the company’s production facility in Northridge, California, and is a US Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition programme.

US Navy Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Weapons (PMA-242) programme manager captain Al Mousseau said: “The delivery of the 500th weapon represents a commitment by this government-industry team, from the supply base to the prime contractor, to deliver a weapon system with a significant warfighting capability in the suppression/destruction of enemy air defence mission area.”

Orbital ATK’s AARGM is an upgraded version of traditional AGM-88 HARM systems, enhancing the capability of the Navy and its allied forces to defeat enemy surface-to-air radar systems.

“The delivery of the 500th weapon represents a commitment by this government-industry team."

With an advanced capability to carry out destruction of enemy air defence missions, the missle can quickly engage traditional and advanced land-based and sea-based air-defence threats, in addition to non-radar time-sensitive strike targets.

Equipped with digital receiver set, GPS/INS guidance, digital terrain data base and millimetre wave (MMW) terminal guidance seeker, the missile system delivers an advanced system that can provide pilots with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against modern surface-to-air threats.

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The AARGM missile can be incorporated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.

In September 2015, the company secured contracts worth $260m for the fourth and fifth full-rate production lots of the AARGM for the US Navy.

It is expected to achieve initial operational capability on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado ECR aircraft later this year.