U.S. Navy Continues LRIP of AARGM from ATK

by: Matthew Potter
November 1, 2011

Category: Alliant Techsystems, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, development program, Events, Italy, Military Aviation, production program, Services, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Navy awarded ATK (ATK) a contract for the third production lot of Low Rate Initial Production for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The contract is worth a little over $50 million and brings the total of the missiles ordered to 115.

The AARGM is an evolution of the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) developed in the 1980’s and used in attacks on Libya and in Desert Storm. The AARGM is a joint U.S. and Italian program and is used by EF-18G and Tornado aircraft to attack enemy air defense radars.

The AARGM utilizes a HARM propulsion stack and adds more sophisticated guidance such as a Millimeter Wave (MMW) transceiver, advanced digital Anti-Radiation Homing (ARH) receiver and a tightly coupled GPS/INS. It is able to engage a variety of targets and the aircrew have the ability to select the target in flight or after launch. Like the HARM the AARGM will continue to attack a target even if they shut down their emitter.

The use of these missile began in Vietnam when the U.S. military was confronted by the layered and sophisticated air defenses in the North. The original missile developed was called the Shrike and there were also versions of the Navy’s shorter ranged air defense missile called the STANDARD ARM. These were used along with bombs and rockets to attack Vietnamese fire control and search radars for their Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) and Air Defense Artillery (ADA).

There have been no confirmed reports of the AARGM being used in the recent air strikes on Libya but it would be a good choice of system to attack their air defenses to allow NATO aircraft to conduct ground strikes.

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