Northrop Grumman’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) has successfully completed the fourth flight test.

The missile was launched by the US Navy from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft at the Point Mugu Sea Range, off the coast of southern California, on 30 November.

It successfully struck an operationally-representative, moving maritime target.

US Navy programme manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) captain Alex Dutko said: “AARGM-ER’s performance during testing continues to validate the missile’s ability to detect, identify, locate and effectively engage critical air-defense targets from an extended range.

“This test proved the systems’ ability to engage moving maritime targets, a vital capability supporting our navy’s ability to control sea lanes during conflict. Congratulations to the government/industry team for their continual focus on delivering this crucial capability to our warfighters.”

Northrop Grumman has been contracted for the delivery of production units of AARGM-ER to support initial operational capability fielding in the coming two years.

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The company secured a low-rate initial production contract for the first and second lots of AARGM-ER.

Leveraging AARGM sensors, electronics and digital approaches with the addition of a air vehicle with high performance capability, robust rocket motor and advanced warhead, the missile offers crucial counter-air-defense capability to the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warfighters.

Northrop Grumman vice president for advanced weapons Gordon Turner said: “The necessity for a reliable, standoff, survivable weapon continues to grow as our adversaries’ threat systems become longer range and more lethal.

“AARGM-ER continues to demonstrate the ability to affordably meet mission requirements and safeguard those protecting our country.”

It is being integrated on the US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35 aircraft.

In July 2021, AARGM-ER completed the first live fire event, followed by second live fire event in February 2022. The third live fire test was undertaken in July 2022.