Northrop Grumman has secured a contract from the US Navy to initiate low rate initial production (LRIP) of a new extended range anti-radiation guided missile.
The new missile, AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER), is an upgraded version of the currently fielded AARGM.
The extended range version also incorporates certain hardware and software modifications to improve survivability and effectiveness against future threats.
AARGM-ER is being integrated on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.
The Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B and Navy F-35C aircraft will also be equipped with this new missile.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor of AARGM-ER and it worked with a team of US Navy and industry partners to develop a production missile design.
Navy Program Manager for Direct Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) captain Alex Dutko said: “LRIP marks a significant step forward for AARGM-ER and the confidence the US Navy has in the programme and its capabilities.
“AARGM-ER will provide the US Navy and our allies with unmatched protection.”
Northrop Grumman advanced weapons vice-president Gordon Turner said: “The evolution of the AARGM family with AARGM-ER is a major step in our ability to provide the US and our allies with a superior capability to detect and defeat adversary air defence threats.
“This milestone underscores the exceptional effort and professionalism demonstrated by the government and industry team.”