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Super Hornet fires new radar-targeting missile

written by Adam Thorn | August 5, 2021
An F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (Source: US Military)

The US Navy has completed the first live fire of Northrop Grumman’s new anti-radiation missile from a Super Hornet.

Anti-radiation missiles are designed to home in on enemy radio sources, such as radars.

The test, conducted at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California, demonstrated the new missile’s long-range capability.

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Captain A.C. Dutko said the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) met its key objectives during the live-fire.

“The government and industry team had great focus and was able to conduct this test event three months earlier than originally envisioned,” he added.

The AARGM-ER is set to be integrated on Boeing’s Super Hornet and Growler fleet, while also supporting the US military’s fifth-generation F-35s.

This latest announcement comes just days after Northrop Grumman confirmed that its MQ-4C Triton — a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) platform, to be used for maritime ISR operations — conducted its maiden flight with “highly upgraded” multi-intelligence configuration, referred to as integrated functional capability four (IFC-4).

The new feature is designed to enhance maritime situational awareness to better inform real-time decision making at tactical to strategic levels.

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The bolstered platform is expected to “completely revolutionise” maritime patrol and reconnaissance capability for customers — the US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

The US Navy is currently operating two Tritons in the Pacific as part of an early operational capability deployment, with the program expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2023.

The Navy has committed to maintaining five 24/7 operational orbits with a planned 68-aircraft program of record

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