Home Americas US Navy’s AARGM-ER missile completes second live-fire trial

US Navy’s AARGM-ER missile completes second live-fire trial

AARGM-ER launch
An AARGM-ER is launched from an F/A-18 Super Hornet during a recent test at the Point Mugu Sea Range, Calif. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has completed a second flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER).

The US Navy launched the missile from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft on January 21 at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California, half a year after completing the first trial in July 2021.

According to Northrop Grumman, the missile manufacturer, missile performed an extended range profile, engaging a land-based, emitter target staged at the range on San Nicholas Island.

“This second flight test verified AARGM-ER’s ability to detect, identify, locate and engage a land-based air defense radar system from an extended range,” said Captain A.C. Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242). “Through the exceptional efforts of our government/industry team, we are another step closer to delivering capability to suppress the most advanced adversary air-defense systems without putting our warfighters in danger.”

This January 2022 launch was part of a series of development test events that will ensure AARGM-ER can meet required objectives. The navy said earlier that testing would continue over the next few years in preparation for initial operational capability in fiscal year 2023.

In December 2021, Northrop Grumman received a $45.6 million contract for the second lot of AARGM-ER as part of the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase.

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

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

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