US Navy AARGM-ER guided missile to move into its first phase of production

According to information published by the United States Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) received Milestone C (MS-C) has received approval to move into its first phase of production.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The U.S. Navy's Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) completes its first live fire event on July 19, 2021,  off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California. (Picture source NAVAIR)

The U.S. Navy plans to award the first two low-rate initial production lots over the next several months.

“The combined government/industry team has worked tirelessly over the last few years to reach this milestone,” said Capt. Alex Dutko, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) program manager. “We look forward to getting this new weapon with its increased capability and lethality out to the fleet as soon as possible.”

The MS-C decision comes just over two years after the Navy awarded the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract to its prime contractor, Northrop Grumman. The team conducted the first live-fire event in July to verify system integration and rocket motor performance, as well as initiate modeling and simulation validation.

Captive and live fire flight testing is planned to continue through 2022 and initial operational capability is planned for 2023.

The AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. The AARGM-ER configuration will leverage previous investments on the AGM-88E AARGM and incorporate a new solid rocket motor for increased range. AARGM-ER will be integrated on the F/A18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.

Aircraft integration and developmental testing began with ordnance loading and handling tests of an AARGM-ER representative Dummy Air Training Missile on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G in July and October 2019 at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The first AARGM-ER instrumented Measurement Vehicle was provided in December 2019 and will be used for aircraft integration and risk reduction flight testing to support airworthiness testing and certification.

The U.S Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) completed its first live fire event on July 19, 2021, off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range. The live fire test validated the overall system integration, performance of the rocket motor and the start of modeling and simulation validation. This was the first in a series of development test events that will ensure AARGM-ER can meet required objectives.

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