Northrop Grumman recently delivered its 1,000th AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) as part of a cooperative program between the U.S. Navy and the Italian Air Force. The air-launched missile is a key long-range weapon against enemy air defenses. The AARGM program achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in July 2012 and supports requirements for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Italian Air Force, and Royal Australian Air Force. The missiles are integrated into weapons systems on several fighter aircraft, including the F/A-18C/D Hornet, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the E/A-18G Growler.
A recent ceremony at the Northrop Grumman production facility in Northridge, Calif. celebrated the production and delivery of the 1,000th missile, with U.S. Naval officers and industry partners in attendance. The Navy program manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PM-242), Captain Matthew Commerford, explained the importance of the achievement: “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 that the U.S. Navy and our allies have the capability and capacity required to meet our operational needs.”
“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,” Gordon Turner, vice president for defense electronic systems of 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.”