Northrop Grumman has concluded its Critical Design Review (CDR) for the US Navy’s advanced anti-radiation guided missile-extended range (AARGM-ER) programme components.

The CDR followed successful design verification tests of the programme’s key components.

AARGM-ER is leveraging the AARGM programme, which is in full rate production currently, along with the new rocket motor and warhead to provide advanced capability to detect and engage long-range adversary air defence systems.

Design verification tests of the AARGM-ER rocket motor and warhead, along with the CDR that were carried out, verified subsystem and system-level performance.

The rocket motor was tested under extreme temperatures and conditions. It successfully demonstrated the required propulsion performance.

The warhead also demonstrated preferred lethality performance.

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AARGM-ER is currently under integration on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. It will be compatible for integration of the F-35A/B/C.

Northrop Grumman advanced weapons vice-president Gordon Turner said: “Rocket motor design verification tests represented a significant knowledge point and milestone for engineering and manufacturing development.

“These tests were important to informing the critical design review and verifying performance of the missile. With our government partners, we are aggressively focused on achieving speed to fleet while holding to program cost objectives.”

In March last year, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $322.5m contract by the US Navy for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) programme of the AGM-88G AARGM-ER.

The scope of the contract included the design, integration and testing of a new solid rocket motor for the AARGM-ER.

Last month, the company manufactured and tested the very lightweight torpedo (VLWT) for the US Navy.