Northrop Grumman [NOC] won a $171 million U.S. Navy contract for Lot 7 full rate production of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGMs), the company announced Tuesday.
This award covers U.S., Italian Air Force, and Royal Australian Air Force users of the AARGM.
The AARGM supersonic, air-launched tactical missile upgrades the legacy Raytheon [RTN] AGM-88 HARM system that can target land and sea-based radar air defense systems.
Northrop Grumman is working with MBDA to build the AARGM.
“The rapid proliferation of today’s threats require the most advanced solution to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats and protect our nation and allies. AARGM is an affordable, game-changing solution and we are proud to provide this capability to the warfighter,” Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of defense electronic systems at Northrop Grumman, said in a statement.
AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative acquisition program, with the Navy acting as the executive service. It is deployed with U.S. Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 C/D Hornets, E/F Super Hornets, and the E/A-18G Growler.
The Italian Air Force AARGM is also being integrated into Italy’s Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft.
In April, the Italian Air Force conducted successful tests of the AARGM at the China Lake, Calif., Naval Air Warfare Center (Defense Daily, April 9).
Northrop Grumman noted Italy recently finished operational testing of the AARGM on the ECR following a set of flight tests that ended with direct hits on air defense threat targets. This will allow Italy to transition the AARGM into operational squadrons.
In May the U.S. Navy awarded Orbital ATK, which is now owned by Northrop Grumman, a $171 million modification to procure full-rate AARGMs for just the U.S. Navy and Australia (Defense Daily, May 31).