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ATK Direct hit in successful Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) test

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: 04 September, 2009  (New Product)
Alliant Techsystems, the U.S. Navy and the Italian Air Force successfully launched and scored a direct hit on a simulated enemy air defense target during the final development test (DT) firing of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on August 7.
'This test firing was picture-perfect. Hardware, software and aircraft systems all worked flawlessly and resulted in a 100 percent successful firing,' said Tobin Touchstone, ATK Mission Systems Vice President for Missiles.

The final AARGM DT shot was launched from a U. S. Navy FA-18C Hornet in a scenario designed to test the missile's capabilities to maneuver and perform in a short time-of-flight profile under heavily counter-measured conditions. During missile flight, AARGM successfully detected, identified, and located an enemy air defense unit (ADU) using its anti-radiation-homing (ARH) receiver. Additionally the missile demonstrated its designed ability to minimize collateral damage and friendly fire by navigating clear of pre-planned impact avoidance zones. In the terminal phase, AARGM used its multi-mode sensor suite to overcome advanced target countermeasures, accurately guiding towards and directly hitting the enemy ADU target.

The firing was the eighth and final developmental missile shot in AARGM's System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase.

'With the successful completion of our SDD test program, we move another step closer in making affordable, Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD) and strike capability a reality for U.S. and Coalition warfighters,' said Jack Cronin, President, ATK Mission Systems. 'AARGM's live-fire test performance across many demanding test scenarios has demonstrated this weapon's capability, versatility, and reliability.'

ATK participated in the missile firing as a member of the U.S. Navy's Integrated Product Team, led by the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office (PMA-242). Members from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division - China Lake led the final AARGM DT shot. Test team members included Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Three One (VX-31), the National Reconnaissance Office, the Naval Air Systems Command, and the Italian Air Force.

This shot also marked the final firing in a month-long test series using the final missile hardware and software configuration intended for Navy Independent Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) which is planned to commence later this year.

'This final SDD phase test firing was a solid success and a testament to the professionalism of our international, government-industry team. Getting to this point took a concerted effort by a large group of talented professionals all pulling in the same direction,' said Capt. Brian Corey, the U.S. Navy's program manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike programs (PMA-242). 'Our collective efforts have now positioned AARGM for entry into Operational Evaluation.'

AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile that will be integrated on the FA-18 C/D, FA-18 E/F, EA-18 G and Tornado ECR aircraft. The missile has designed compatibility with the F-35, EA-6B, and U.S. and Allied F-16s. AARGM's advanced multi-sensor system includes a Millimeter Wave (MMW) terminal seeker, advanced Anti-Radiation Homing (ARH) receiver and Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) capable of rapidly engaging traditional and advanced enemy air defense threats as well as non-radar time-sensitive strike targets. The AARGM system, an upgrade to the U.S. Navy AGM-88 HARM system, is a U.S. and Italian international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) commenced in December 2008 with delivery of the first production missile to the Navy scheduled January 2010. Once Fleet IOC is established in November 2010, AARGM will be the only tactical extended-range, supersonic, multi-role strike weapon in U.S. and Italian inventory.
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