skip to main content

Navy League 2023: US Navy, Northrop Grumman discuss next AARGM-ER contract

An AARGM-ER is fired from a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet during a test. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) and Northrop Grumman are negotiating the third low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for the air-launched AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), according to a service official.

The USN awarded contracts to Northrop Grumman for the first two LRIP lots in September 2021 and December 2021, respectively. A total of four LRIP lots are planned. The USN expects to award the first full-rate production contract in fiscal year (FY) 2025.

The AARGM-ER has completed four of its six planned developmental test shots and will undergo the final two “in the next couple months”, said Captain Alex Dutko, navy programme manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike. The fifth test, an air-to-ground shot, was supposed to occur in March but was delayed by a rare snowfall in California, Capt Dutko told reporters on 3 April at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2023 conference held in National Harbor, Maryland. Operational testing is scheduled to follow developmental testing and wrap up in FY 2024.

The AARGM-ER is designed to suppress and destroy enemy air defences. It is intended to provide more range, speed, and survivability than the baseline AARGM.

The AARGM-ER is being integrated onto the F-35 Lightning II, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters, and the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. The navy is studying whether it would make sense to integrate the new missile onto the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft as well, Capt Dutko said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...