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February 8, 2022

US Navy completes second AARGM-ER live fire event

The first live fire event was conducted in July 2021 and the programme already achieved a Milestone C decision.

The US Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) has successfully completed its second live fire event.

The flight test was carried out off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range in southern California, US.

The AARGM-ER was launched from an F/A-18 Super Hornet and met all planned test objectives.

The live fire test saw the missile conduct an extended range profile and hit a land-based, emitter target.

Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) Navy programme manager captain AC Dutko said: “This second flight test verified AARGM-ER’s ability to detect, identify, locate and engage a land-based air defence radar system from an extended range.

“Through the exceptional efforts of our government/industry team, we are another step closer to delivering capability to suppress the most advanced adversary air-defence systems without putting our warfighters in danger.”

An upgrade to the existing AARGM missile, AARGM-ER features a new solid rocket motor and warhead, as well as advanced sensors, electronics and digital models.

The AARGM-ER programme’s initial operational capability (IOC) is scheduled for 2023. The navy conducted the weapon’s first live fire event in July 2021.

Last year, it achieved a Milestone C Decision and the prime contractor Northrop Grumman was awarded a $45.6m contract for the second lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP) in December.

Northrop Grumman Defense Systems president and corporate vice-president Mary Petryszyn said: “AARGM-ER provides the US Navy with the capability to stay ahead of evolving threats.

“This flight test further demonstrated the critical capability of AARGM-ER to precisely engage long-range threats, while enabling launching aircrew to remain at a safe distance.”

The US Navy is installing the missile on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35A/B/C aircraft.

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