The U.S. Navy completed an Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) captive carry flight on an F/A-18 Super Hornet April 22 at Patuxent River in support of the first live fire event this spring. This flight marked the first time the AARGM-ER weapon demonstrated it could communicate with the F/A-18 E/F aircraft. The Separation Test Vehicle (STV) used its hardware and software to facilitate the controlled free flight.
Data collected from this testing will support expansion of flight testing with AARGM-ER to the full performance envelope of F/A-18 Super Hornet. This flight represents a significant step in the AARGM-ER engineering and manufacturing development phase. During the test, the F/A-18 Super Hornet conducted a series of aerial maneuvers in order to evaluate compatibility of the AARGM-ER with the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The test points completed during this flight test event substantiated F/A-18 carriage compatibility. AARGM-ER is being integrated on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and will be compatible for integration of the F-35. Northrop Grumman Corporation recently completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) following successful design verification tests of key components for the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) program.
Anti-radiation missiles are designed to destroy enemy radar, jammers and radio transmitters – to blind an adversary, preventing them from tracking and downing US aircraft. The missiles would be fired early in a conflict, clearing the way for waves of fighters and bombers. As a standoff weapon, which can be launched by aircraft beyond the reach of enemy surface-to-air missiles, the missile’s exact range is classified.