REMEC Defense and Space (a subsidiary of Cobham Defense Electronic Systems) has received notice by ATK of another successful milestone test of the Advanced Anti Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) at China Lake, CA. The missile was launched off-axis from low altitude from an F/A-18C hornet aircraft and was able to guide itself to a direct hit on a simulated enemy defense radar installation. The test, a joint effort between the US Navy, Alliant Techsystems and the Italian Air Force, was a critical milestone in the program and keeps the program on track for Low Rate Initial Production.
REMEC provides three integrated electronic assemblies to ATK for installation into the AARGM missile: the RF processor, an IF receiver and a WIA transmitter. REMEC has been a participant on the AARGM project since 2003 and is currently producing these assemblies under the SDD phase of the program. The current Navy/ATK schedule calls for low rate initial production to commence following completion of Milestone C, scheduled later this year. “REMEC is a critical supplier on the Government-industry AARGM development team,” said Gordon Turner, ATK director of Strike Weapons. “The performance of REMEC’s anti-radiation homing (ARH) receiver components was pivotal in the test missile ARH guidance to a direct hit on the target.”
Following the successful test firing, Captain Larry Egbert, the Department of Defense program manager, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Programs, stated: “The entire international AARGM team is pleased with the test results. I continue to be exceptionally proud of the achievements of our international, government-industry team. The successful test has shown the lethality against a real-world threat and demonstrates the viability of an affordable Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD) capability for US, Italian and potentially other Allied Forces through the upgrade of legacy HARM weapons.”
The test firing was a culmination of a successful series of laboratory integration and captive flights. It demonstrated the maturity of the AARGM integration with the F/A-18 aircraft and the continued progress of fielding a long-range, precision strike capability against a wide array of time-critical targets. The missile utilized GPS/INS navigation with enroute transition to ARH guidance on the air defense radar target. The test demonstrated how AARGM’s digital ARH receiver can detect, identify, track, geographically locate and guide to lethal range on the target. With this test, AARGM has achieved nine successful live fires and numerous captive carry flights against a wide array of threats. When fielded in FY10, it will be the only extended range tactical supersonic multi-role strike weapon in the US and Italian inventories.
AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile that will be integrated on the F/A-18C/D, F/A-18 E/F, EA-18C and Tornado IDS/ECR aircraft. The missile is being designed to be compatible with the F-35, EA-6B and US and Allied F-16 aircraft. Its advanced multisensory system, including a millimeter wave (MMW) terminal seeker, advanced digital anti-radiation homing (ARH) receiver and a GPS/INS, is capable of rapidly engaging traditional and advanced enemy air defense targets as well as non-radar time-sensitive strike targets. The AARGM MMW seeker can operate in concert with the ARH to counter RF shutdown tactics, or in a stand-alone mode to guide to non-emitting time sensitive targets. AARGM is a network-enabled weapon that directly receives tactical intelligence information via an embedded data link and transmits real-time weapon impact assessment (WIA) reports. AARGM, the successor to the US Navy AGM-88 HARM system, is a US and Italian international cooperative acquisition program with the US Navy as the executive agent.