The Northrop Grumman AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) has successfully completed its critical design review (CDR) for the US Navy (USN), the manufacturer announced on 18 June.
Seen being carried by a Super Hornet during captive-carry trials earlier in the year, the AARGM-ER has successfully passed its critical design review. Initial operating capability for the DEAD/SEAD missile is slated for fiscal year 2023. (US Navy)
The destruction/suppression of enemy air-defences (DEAD/SEAD) air-to-surface missile was signed off on its CDR following the successful design verification tests of key components, including the rocket motor and warhead along with several sub-systems.
“Design verification tests of the rocket motor were conducted at extreme cold and hot temperature conditions, and successfully demonstrated required propulsion performance. Testing of the warhead successfully demonstrated lethality performance,” Northrop Grumman said.
News of the milestone came days after the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced the first captive-carry test of the AARGM-ER aboard a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft on 2 June. The test, which took place at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland the day prior, saw a single-seat F/A-18E testbed perform a series of aerial manoeuvres so as to evaluate integration and structural characteristics of the missile.
As previously noted by
, the ARRGM-ER builds on the baseline AGM-88E AARGM, utilising the same sensors, warhead, and a modified version of its common control section attached to a new rocket motor and airframe. While the current AGM-88E Block 1 AARGM has a stated range of more than 60 n miles and an engagement speed of Mach 2+, details of the expected range increment and engagement speed of the AARGM-ER have not been disclosed.