DULLES, Va., 1 Dec. 2015. Orbital ATK Inc. (NYSE:OA) and U.S. Navy engineers conducted a live fire test of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) Block 1 Software Upgrade at China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center, launching and scoring a direct hit against an advanced enemy air defense radar system.
The AARGM Block 1 Software Upgrade shot was launched from a U.S. Navy F/A-18FSuper Hornet in a complex scenario designed to test the missile’s capability against an advanced air defense radar threat. Prior to launch, AARGM detected, identified, and located the target using its anti-radiation homing receiver. This mission-critical information was relayed directly to the pilot, who launched the AARGM in Target of Opportunity mode. The missile’s millimeter-wave radar located the target and performed terminal guidance resulting in a direct hit on the target.
“The AARGM Block 1 Software Upgrade testing successfully demonstrated the missile’s performance in a very challenging tactical scenario,” says Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s Defense Electronic Systems division of the Defense System’s Group. “This was a key test in the steps to roll this upgrade out to our warfighters.”
“This is the second live fire test of the AARGM Block 1 Software Upgrade,” adds Gordon Turner, vice president of programs, business development and strategy for Defense Electronic Systems. “Another key attribute of the Block 1 upgrade capability, engagement of moving ships, was successfully demonstrated a few weeks earlier further validating the versatility and capability of the weapon.”
Orbital ATK participated in the missile firing as a member of the U.S. Navy's Integrated Product Team, led by the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office, PMA-242. Additional test team members included Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division – China Lake, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Three One, and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine.
AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with advanced capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense and time sensitive strike missions. AARGM provides an advanced system for pilots with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. AARGM is able to rapidly engage advanced land- and sea-based radar air-defense threats, as well as non-radar, time-sensitive strike targets.
AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive service. AARGM achieved Initial Operational Capability in July 2012 and was approved by the Navy for Full Rate Production in September 2012.
AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet, and E/A-18G Growler aircraft, and is being integrated for use on the Italian Air Force's Tornado ECR aircraft.
Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group provides precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition, and related energetic products.
Orbital ATK designs, builds, and delivers space, defense, and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,000 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in several international locations.
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