Home Americas US Navy green lights production start for AARGM-ER missile

US Navy green lights production start for AARGM-ER missile

AARGM-ER launch
AARGM-ER during its first live fire event July 19, 2021. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) is ready for production after it received Milestone C (MS-C) approval on August 23.

The navy announced the decision after the missile completed its first live-fire event in July this year off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range.

AARGM-ER leverages the AARGM program that is currently in full rate production and features a new rocket motor and warhead to provide advanced capability to detect and engage enemy air defense systems.

Now that the program has obtained approval to enter its first phase of production, the navy plans to award the first two low-rate initial production lots to Northrop Grumman 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.

According to the navy, captive and live fire flight testing is planned to continue through 2022 while initial operational capability is planned for 2023.

The navy is integrating AARGM-ER on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and it will be compatible for integration on the F-35.