Northrop Grumman AARGM-ER missile to enter production for US Navy

Northrop Grumman can enter low rate initial production of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) developed for the US Navy.

This follows the achievement of Milestone C decision, which authorises the company as the programme’s prime contractor to enter the next phase of the missile. Production contract awards are expected in the next quarter.

An F/A-18 fighter with an AARGM-ER during a captive carry flight test

The US Navy advanced weapon capability will “counter anti-access and area denial threats,” a Northrop Grumman news release said.

“The additional capabilities of AARGM-ER, coupled with its high-performance air vehicle, will provide our fleet with the most advanced weapon system to defeat evolving surface-to-air threats,” said A.C. “Count” Dutko, Navy programme manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242). “Our team has continued to prove the maturity of the system and we are confident AARGM-ER is ready to commence low rate production.”

This decision enables the start of the production to support future deployment of the AARGM-ER to the fleet and achievement of initial operating capability.

“AARGM, and now AARGM-ER, is a time-critical capability that protects and enhances the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and the evolving threats they encounter,” said Gordon Turner, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman. “We are honoured to continue providing advanced suppression and destruction of enemy air defence products to the war fighters with this significant expansion to our missile prime business.”

AARGM-ER is a major upgrade to the existing AARGM missile, currently in production and fielded with the US Navy currently.

AARGM-ER is being integrated on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as the US Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B, and Navy F-35C aircraft.