Northrop Grumman recently successfully completed the third captive flight test of its prototype missile development series.
The internally funded air-launched missile demonstrates capabilities relevant for multiple services, missions and platforms.
Completed at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., the internally funded test successfully validated the capability to identify and discriminate modern, integrated air defense systems and successfully tracked the intended targets during a series of captive flight maneuvers using the company’s test aircraft.
The missile is designed to target enemy air defense systems while providing forces the freedom of maneuver to complete a mission out of harm’s way. The design leverages the company’s existing work under the U.S. Navy’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), including engineering manufacturing and development, low-rate initial production and integration work for F-35 aircraft. To adapt to ever-changing threats, the missile design features open architecture interfaces that will allow for rapid subsystem upgrades to field enhanced capabilities to the warfighter.
“By merging our weapons expertise and internal investments with our digital engineering proficiency, we are rapidly delivering advanced missile capabilities,” said Mary Petrysyzn, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems. “This formula supports our strategy to design, test and deliver technologically advanced capabilities ahead of schedule.”
By harnessing in-house digital engineering expertise from across the company, including established programs with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and NASA, Northrop Grumman is accelerating development and build of its internally funded missile solution, and will be ready to begin live fire testing during 2022.
The company is planning additional flight tests this year in more stressing scenarios that are relevant to all programs leveraging the AARGM-ER program.