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US approves AARGM-ER sale to Finland

Seen during fit trials for the F-35, the AARGM-ER anti-radiation missile has been approved for sale to Finland. (Northrop Grumman)

The United States government has approved the sale of the Northrop Grumman AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) to Finland.

Announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the State Department's approval covers up to 150 of the anti-radiation missiles, as well as related equipment and services for an estimated USD500 million.

Although not mentioned in the approval notification, the AARGM-ER will equip the Finnish Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, 64 of which will be delivered from 2025 through to 2030.

The AARGM-ER is a destruction/suppression of enemy air defences (DEAD/SEAD) air-to-surface missile that builds on the baseline AGM-88E AARGM (which was itself a development of the Raytheon AGM-88B/C High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile [HARM]).

This latest extended-range missile utilises the same sensors, warhead, and a modified version of the AGM-88E's common control section attached to a new rocket motor and airframe. While the current AGM-88E AARGM Block 1 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.

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