Second flight test of AARGM-ER missile deemed a success

Northrop Grumman has announced the completion of the second flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) launched from an F/A-18 Super Hornet at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of California.

The test, which took place on January 21, saw the missile perform an extended range profile, engaging a land-based, emitter target staged at the range on San Nicholas Island. The programme reached Milestone C Decision (authorisation for Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)) in September 2021.

An AARGM-ER is successfully launched from a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet during a recent test at the Point Mugu Sea Range, California. US Navy

“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,” Capt A C Dutko, US Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242), said in a February 7 Northrop Grumman release.

Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to deliver production units of AARGM-ER to support a 2023 initial operational capability (IOC) fielding. In December 2021, the company received a $45.6m contract for the second lot of AARGM-ER LRIP.

AARGM-ER leverages existing AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models with the addition of a new air vehicle, solid rocket motor propulsion system and warhead. The missile is being integrated on the US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as F-35A/B/C aircraft.