Northrop Grumman has received a three-year, $165M contract modification to provide 255 next-generation guided missiles to the U.S. Navy and the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The award modifies a firm-fixed-price contract awarded to Northrop’s Alliant Techsystems Operations business and covers full-rate production work for lot 9 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles, the U.S. Department of Defense on 12 March. As part of the modification, Northrop will update Advanced Guided Missle-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles into 253 AGM-88E rounds with the AARG configuration for the U.S. Navy. The company will also convert two of the rounds into Captive Air Training Missiles for the German government.
According to Northrop Grumman, the AGM-88E AARGM is a medium-range air-to-ground missile. The primary role of the missile is to target enemy air defences. The missile can engage relocatable Integrated Air Defence (IAD) targets and other targets equipped with shutdown capability.AARGM is the most advanced weapons system deployed today delivering destruction of enemy air defense system capabilities. AARGM provides the critical ability to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats enabling the penetration of adversary anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) domains required by U.S. warfighters and allies.
The AARGM program achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in July 2012, and is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Italian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force. The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler aircraft and on the Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. In 2019, Northrop Grumman Corporation marked a significant milestone with the delivery of its 1000th AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). A ceremony at the Northrop Grumman production facility in Northridge, California, commemorated the occasion.