U.S. weapons maker Northrop Grumman Corp has delivered the 1000th AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, with the mission of destroying enemy air defenses, ensuring freedom of maneuver. AARGM is a U.S. Department of theNavy and Italian Air Force International Cooperative Program.
A ceremony at the Northrop Grumman production facility in Northridge, California, commemorated the occasion. Attendees at the event included U.S. Navy senior officers, civilians, industry partners and past and present employees working on the program.
Capt. Matthew Commerford, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) stated, “As our adversaries continue to evolve and advance their air defense systems, AARGM is essential for our warfighters to detect and defeat the various threats, and this achievement ensures the U.S. Navy and our allies have the capability and capacity required to meet our operational needs.”
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 1,000th delivery showcases the progress made by our joint team since the program began as a Small Business Innovation Research program over a decade ago,” said Gordon Turner, vice president, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman. “It is also affirmation of a continued commitment and sustained investment to providing critical strike weapon capabilities and the industrial base capacity to meet future readiness demands.”
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.