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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Production Ramps Up for Missile

Northrop Grumman Corp. has been authorized by the Pentagon to begin low-rate initial production of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range.

The AARGM-ER is a major upgrade with a new rocket motor and warhead to the existing AARGM missile currently in production and in service with the U.S. Navy, the Falls Church, Va.-based defense and aerospace firm said in a news release.

The extended range missile system is produced at Northrop’s facility in Northridge.

 The missile is a supersonic, air-launched weapon that can rapidly engage traditional and advanced land- and sea-based threats. It hones in on enemy radar systems for guided missiles.

Capt. A.C. “Count” Dutko, Navy program manager for direct and time-sensitive strikes, said the additional capabilities of the AARGM-ER will provide the fleet with the most advanced weapon system to defeat surface-to-air threats. 

“Our team has continued to prove the maturity of the system and we are confident AARGM-ER is ready to commence low-rate production,” Dutko said in a statement. 

The missile is designed to fit on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, its variant the EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy versions of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. 

Northrop completed the first live fire of the missile in July at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of Ventura County. Live fire flight testing is planned to continue through 2022 and initial operational capability is planned for 2023, the Navy said in a release. 

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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