US Navy extends Orbital ATK AGM-88E production

25 March, 2016 BY: James Drew Washington DC

The US Navy has extended production of AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) multi-mode seekers, built by Orbital ATK, by three years to fiscal year 2023 with an added requirement for 556 more units.

That’s according to the Pentagon’s latest selected acquisition report, which shows an increase in planned production quantities from the 2003 objective of 1,879 units to 2,435, not including the 40 test assets. That and other changes bump up the total programme cost by $484.8 million to over $2 billion.

The missile modification was jointly developed by the USA and Italy to improve the effectiveness of legacy Raytheon AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) variants against fixed and relocatable enemy radar and communications sites, particularly those that would shut down to throw off incoming anti-radiation missiles. Australia also procures AGM-88Es.

Asset ImageBoeing F/A-18 Super Hornet flight tests AGM-88E – US Navy

The new seeker attaches to the existing Mach 2-capable rocket motor and warhead section, adding a passive anti-radiation homing receiver, satellite and inertial navigation system, and a millimetre wave radar for terminal guidance. It can also beam up images of the target via a satellite link just seconds before impact.

Raytheon produces an alternative modification kit for the US Air Force, known as the HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM).

The Orbital ATK AARGM is compatible with all F/A-18 models and the EA-18G Growler, plus the Panavia Tornado, F-16, EA-6B and it will be carried externally on the F-35. It went into full-rate production in 2012.

Original post


Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM)

The Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AGM-88E) provides the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Italian Air Force the latest and most advanced weapon system for engaging and destroying enemy air defenses and time-critical, mobile targets. AARGM is a supersonic, medium-range, air-launched tactical missile compatible with U.S. and allied strike aircraft, including all variants of the F/A-18, Tornado, EA-18G, F-16, EA-6B, and F-35 (external).

Designed to upgrade the AGM-88 High-Speed, Anti-Radiation Missile system (HARM), AARGM features an advanced, digital, anti-radiation homing sensor, millimeter wave (MMW) radar terminal seeker, precise Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) guidance, net-centric connectivity, and Weapon Impact Assessment transmit (WIA). Missile Impact Transmitter capability is available for approved customers. The missile offers extended-range engagement, as well as organic, in-cockpit emitter targeting capability and situational awareness.

New capabilities for the warfighter include:

  • Anti-radar strike with advanced signal processing and vastly improved frequency coverage, detection range and field of view
  • Time-critical, standoff strike with supersonic GPS/INS point-to-point or point-to-MMW-terminal guidance
  • Missile-impact zone control to prevent collateral damage through tightly coupled, Digital Terrain Elevation Database-aided GPS/INS
  • Counter-emitter shutdown through active MMW-radar terminal guidance
  • WIA transmission prior-to-impact for bomb damage assessment

Orbital ATK is teamed with MBDA to provide this advanced, cost-effective weapon system to U.S. and approved allied customers.


Weight 355 kilograms (783 lb)
Length 4.1 metres (13 ft)
Diameter 254 millimetres (10.0 in)
Warhead WDU-21/B blast-fragmentation in a WAU-7/B warhead section, and later WDU-37/B blast-fragmentation warhead.
Warhead weight 66 kilograms (146 lb)
FMU-111/B laser proximity fuze

Engine Thiokol SR113-TC-1 dual-thrust rocket engine
Wingspan 1.1 metres (3.6 ft)
Propellant Solid fuel
150 kilometres; 92 miles (80 nmi)[3]
Speed 2,280 km/h (1,420 mph)
Passive radar homingwith home-on-jamGPS/INS and millimeter wave active radar homingin E variant.[4] 500-20,000 MHz for AGM-88C
F/A-18F-4G, F-16Tornado IDSF-35 and others



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