ATK (NYSE: ATK) announced that it has been awarded a $54.4-million contract by the U.S. Navy for a third lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP) Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM). The contract authorizes production of AARGM missiles and associated support equipment for the U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force.
AARGM is currently in the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) phase and has undergone more than 300 hours of missile flight testing with the Navy in the last twelve months, including over 200 hours and multiple live fires in the IOT&E phase. Upon IOT&E phase completion in early 2012, the missile will achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the FA-18C/D Hornet aircraft.
AARGM is also being integrated into the Navy's EA-18G Growler electronic warfare and FA-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft, as well as the Italian Air Force Tornado ECR electronic combat and reconnaissance aircraft. As a contributing sensor with advanced lethal defense suppression capability, AARGM is expected to greatly enhance the electronic warfare capabilities for the Growler and the Tornado ECR aircraft.
"The AARGM team continues to make significant progress in demonstrating missile reliability, affordability, and overall performance," said Bill Kasting, Vice President and General Manager of ATK Defense Electronics Systems. "We are focused on ensuring continued success in operational testing and production to deliver AARGM's game-changing capabilities to our warfighters."
ATK commenced low rate production for AARGM in 2008 and was awarded a second LRIP contract in 2010. This third LRIP contract award will bring the total number of production missiles for the U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force to 115.
AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile carried on the FA-18, EA-18G 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. Upon IOC, AARGM will be the only tactical extended-range, supersonic, multi-role strike weapon in U.S. and Italian inventory.
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