Military Review

New AGM-88G AARGM-ER Aircraft Missile for US Navy

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The first take-off flight of the AGM-88G rocket. The prototype is suspended under the left wing, next to the PTB. Photo NAVAIR / navair.navy.mil


The US Navy continues to develop new aviation weapons of destruction for carrier-based aircraft. A few days ago, tests began on the promising AGM-88G AARGM-ER anti-radar missile, developed specifically for naval aviation. So far, we are talking only about the first export flights, but in a few years the missile will go into service - and can become a real threat to a potential enemy.

First flight


According to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), tests of the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile - Extended Range began on June 1 at the Patuxent River training ground (Maryland). The first carrier of the experimental rocket was the carrier-based fighter F / A-18E from the 23rd test squadron (VX-23).

A plane with a payload in the form of two hanging tanks, a pair of air-to-air missiles and one prototype AGM-88G made a take-off, completed a series of maneuvers and landed. During such a flight, information was collected about the arising loads and the reaction of the rocket to them.

The command highly noted this flight, since it puts an end to the main part of the design work and gives start to flight tests. The information collected will be taken into account in the further development of the rocket, which will soon have to go to full flight tests. Tests and debugging will take the next few years. According to current plans, the AGM-88G will go into production and reach initial operational readiness in 2023.

New modification


The current AGM-88G AARGM-ER missile is another representative of a fairly old family dating back to the AGM-88 HARM. At the same time, it is being developed on the basis of the later AGM-88E AARGM and is most unified with it. In both cases, we are talking about a major restructuring of the original design, which appeared in the eighties.


Rocket AGM-88E, the base for future modifications of the "G". Wikimedia Commons Photos

Recall that the product AGM-88E was developed since 2005 by order of the Italian and US defense ministries. The project was done by Orbital ATK and Northrop Grumman. In 2012-13. two customers received the first batch of serial missiles and began their introduction in the troops. In 2019, another order appeared - Germany acquired the missiles.

In 2016, the U.S. Navy funded the start of work on a new modification of the anti-radar missile. The product AGM-88G AARGM-ER was supposed to repeat the existing AGM-88E as much as possible, but have improved flight performance, primarily range. The preliminary project competition ended with the victory of Orbital ATK. In January 2018, she received an appropriate contract.

The main customer for the AARGM-ER program is the naval forces wishing to rearm deck aircraft. Later, the US Air Force joined the program. They are interested in getting the AGM-88G for their F-35A fighters. However, the leading role remains fleet, and the Air Force actually only participate formally.

Technical features


Despite the high degree of unification with the AGM-88E, the new AGM-88G has a different layout and composition of equipment. The long-range missile is made in a cylindrical case with an increased diameter (290 mm versus 254 mm for its predecessors). On the outer surface there is a pair of side gargrot; of the planes only tail rudders remained. The layout has been slightly revised: the head compartment accommodates the homing head, the warhead is placed behind it, and the engine occupies all other volumes. Around the nozzle apparatus steering machines are arranged.

AARGM-ER retains the AARGM GOS, but instrument placement has been redesigned to accommodate a wider housing. There are satellite and inertial navigation devices, an autopilot, as well as a radar seeker with passive and active modes. Search for a target is carried out by its radio signals; At the end of the flight, active radar is turned on for a more accurate hit. The seeker is protected from interference and maintains operability when the monitored signal is lost.


The main features of the AARGM-ER rocket. Graphics by NAVAIR / navair.navy.mil

On-board equipment is able to exchange data with the carrier, up to the moment it hits the target. In particular, this allows the aircraft to be informed of an imminent successful defeat - or miss.

A new modular warhead has been proposed for the AGM-88G, the exact parameters of which have not yet been named. The customer’s requirements included a multi-mode fuse that provides detonation when directly hit the target or when passing near it.

About half the body length is occupied by a new solid fuel engine. According to open data, it provides an increase in flight speed in comparison with the AGM-88E (maximum speed - 2M) and a twofold increase in range - up to 300 km.

AARGM-ER must be compatible with different media. The Navy plans to use it on F / A-18E / F fighters and on the EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft. Also, the new missile will be included in the ammunition of the land and deck modifications of the F-35 fighter. In this case, it is possible to transport and launch from internal cargo compartments. One aircraft can carry up to 2-4 missiles.

In the recent past, Northrop Grumman displayed a ground-based launcher for the AGM-88E / G as a standard shipping container. As far as we know, such a project has not yet been developed.

Long arm aviation


So far, the AGM-88G is in the early stages of testing, and the emergence of such weapons the troops are expected only in a few years. Apparently, all the necessary work will be completed on time. This is facilitated by the widespread use of finished components that no longer need to be developed.


The prototype AGM-88G in the cargo compartment of the F-35 fighter. Photo Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman

In the future, along with a promising missile, the Navy and, possibly, the US Air Force will receive some new shock capabilities. The Navy is again waiting for an effective tool that can aim at these radiating targets or independently search for them. Some of the features and advantages of the new missile pose a danger to third countries and may become the reason for the adoption of certain measures.

An important advantage of the AGM-88G is the function of storing the coordinates of the detected target and the operation of the ARGSN in the final section of the flight, increasing the likelihood of a successful solution to the combat mission. Also, the product can transmit data about the target being attacked and the results of the attack. Thus, the rocket simultaneously turns out to be a means of destruction and a scout. According to her data, you can clarify the picture of the battlefield and the location of the enemy's emitting objects.

A serious cause for concern should be a new engine that dramatically improves flight performance. AGM-88G will be able to fly 300 km, which will move the launch line away from enemy positions. As a result of this, the enemy will have to use more long-range air defense systems that can detect, attack and hit the carrier aircraft in time to repel the attack in a timely manner. Otherwise, anti-aircraft systems will have to deal with a more complex target in the form of a rocket.

In general, the promising anti-radar missile AGM-88G AARGM-ER will become a convenient and effective aviation weapon. It combines the best modern developments on radar seeker and engines, which gives an advantageous combination of flight and combat characteristics.

Real threat


AGM-88G is created in the interests of the US Navy. Deck fighter-bomber and EW aircraft will be able to use it to destroy surface or coastal targets - ship and land radars for various purposes, including from the composition of air defense systems. Probable US adversaries need to take certain measures to protect against such weapons. In general, they repeat the already known methods of countering anti-radar missiles, but they need to be developed taking into account the characteristic features of AARGM-ER.

To effectively combat carrier aircraft and missiles of the AGM-88 family, a well-developed and layered air defense system is needed, capable of detecting targets at distances of hundreds of kilometers and hitting them at distances of at least 200-300 km, and if necessary, “shooting through” at medium or short ranges. For example, Russia has similar systems for the ground forces and the navy. They should be developed and strengthened by the country's air defense as a whole - and then the AGM-88G missile will lose its advantages by the time it begins operation.
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  1. Thrifty
    Thrifty 12 June 2020 05: 20
    0
    A serious problem, given the range of 300 kilometers. To know her flight capabilities below the level of the radio horizon, and the possibility of target selection, in the event of loss of contact, information about the main object of destruction. ..
    1. Aaron Zawi
      Aaron Zawi 12 June 2020 07: 19
      +8
      Quote: Thrifty
      A serious problem, given the range of 300 kilometers. To know her flight capabilities below the level of the radio horizon, and the possibility of target selection, in the event of loss of contact, information about the main object of destruction. ..

      Add that the carrier of this missile can be F-35 and the problem for air defense is doubled.
      1. Vita vko
        Vita vko 12 June 2020 08: 53
        13
        Quote: Aron Zaavi
        Add that the carrier of this missile can be F-35 and the problem for air defense is doubled.

        In fact, everything is much more serious and scary. Only it is not customary to talk about this among air defense personnel. Already in the late 90s, after the Yugoslav and Iraqi military conflicts, most scientists agreed on the onset of a radar crisis. Too unequal forces turned out to be from the air attack and air defense systems. It is not only about the presence of many anti-radar missiles of the AGM type, but also about the fact that the average power density of the simplest aviation aircraft active jammer is on average 1 kW / MHz, while the protection capabilities remain an order of magnitude less. And unfortunately the main reason is in ordinary physics, which is described by the equations of radar and anti-radar. Not only politicians, but also many military men with large shoulder straps need to understand that in modern warfare the air defense system is far from omnipotent. For example, according to the results of mathematical modeling by the Spektr software package on the Kola Peninsula, 50% of air defense equipment and weapons are destroyed within 20 - 30 minutes, i.e. comparable to the flight time of the main weapons.
        Therefore, it is necessary to switch to new physical principles in air defense systems, such as active-passive correlation-basic methods of target detection. In the meantime, our industry prefers to use outdated active radar, and we will wait "until the thunder breaks out" or "the roast cock bites."
        1. Genry
          Genry 12 June 2020 12: 40
          -7
          Quote: Vita VKO
          In fact, everything is much more serious and worse. Only this is not customary to talk about among air defense personnel.

          Chef, it's all gone! Plaster is removed, the client leaves ....
          Quote: Vita VKO
          It is not only about the presence of many anti-radar missiles of the AGM type, but also about the fact that the average power density of the simplest aircraft aviation active jammer is an average of 1 kW / MHz, while protection capabilities remain an order of magnitude less.

          And how much energy is needed on the plane to close the frequencies, at least up to 10 GHz ???
          Ground defense is always more advantageous than air defense. There is no restriction on energy ....
        2. Kolka Semenov
          Kolka Semenov 12 June 2020 14: 43
          -2
          Stupidity is sheer.
        3. Narak-zempo
          Narak-zempo 13 June 2020 09: 15
          0
          Quote: Vita VKO
          so we will wait "until the thunder breaks out" or "the roast cock bites."

          As they say, God will not betray, the pig will not eat
        4. Yarhann
          Yarhann 13 June 2020 19: 01
          -3
          gosh, what bird .. it's all from the realm of spherical vacuum and horse. Separated air defense-missile defense is now impassable by any aircraft attack means. simply because it consists of very powerful ground-based radars + airborne radar systems - that is, RTR and AWACS + fighter aircraft. Such a set of detection tools will not only be seen by all aircraft, it will also see all launched means of attack, jammers, AWACS, etc. and so on. At the same time, its own fighter aircraft will operate in radio silence mode - that is, it will be invisible to the enemy and calmly cut out jammers, DRLO planes, etc., etc.
          If the anti-aircraft defense is not layered and does not have an air component, then it is inferior and opening it is not a problem.
          Thank you neighing about the outdated active radar))) we certainly don’t have RTR means)))) even more about the new physical principles - I looked directly at the first channel)))
          1. Outsider
            Outsider 17 June 2020 02: 21
            0
            Quote: Yarhann
            gosh, what bird .. it's all from the realm of a spherical vacuum and a horse. Separated air defense-missile defense is now impassable by any aircraft attack means. simply because it consists of very powerful ground-based radars + airborne radar systems - that is, RTR and AWACS + fighter aircraft.

            - Saddam Hussein once thought exactly the same thing, poor thing ... request
            1. Yarhann
              Yarhann 17 June 2020 08: 36
              +1
              oga in Iraq once there was a layered air defense system at least at the level of the USSR 80s))) yes yes they made a lot of fun.
        5. 5-9
          5-9 14 June 2020 10: 27
          -2
          AGM is an abbreviation for guided air-to-surface missiles .... rather than the PRR type .... You can not read further from such an expander
      2. Genry
        Genry 12 June 2020 12: 27
        0
        Quote: Aron Zaavi
        Add that the carrier of this missile can be F-35 and the problem for air defense is doubled.

        F-35 or another plane at a distance of 300km no longer plays a role.
        But if you use a cargo plane-battery with the possibility of volley launch .......
        1. Aaron Zawi
          Aaron Zawi 12 June 2020 14: 09
          +2
          Quote: Genry
          Quote: Aron Zaavi
          Add that the carrier of this missile can be F-35 and the problem for air defense is doubled.

          F-35 or another plane at a distance of 300km no longer plays a role.
          But if you use a cargo plane-battery with the possibility of volley launch .......

          If the F-35 will be able to work in the direction of air defense not from 300, but from 100 km, then the air defense will reduce the reaction time to the threat.
          1. Genry
            Genry 12 June 2020 14: 12
            0
            Quote: Aron Zaavi
            If the F-35 will be able to work out in the direction of air defense not from 300, but from 100 km, then ....

            Then the new rocket just sucks.
          2. 5-9
            5-9 14 June 2020 10: 29
            0
            Yes, even the Su-17 ... what's the difference? You can work out only because of the radio horizon.
  2. Angry
    Angry 12 June 2020 07: 28
    +2
    Maybe this is a "problem" for those who did not serve in air defense ... any aircraft moving in any environment, including air, creates disturbances and reveals itself. This is an axiom. Therefore, we will find and knock down and deceive the GOS. The fact that such a weapon has appeared only proves that it is necessary to have on ships a multichannel, all-angle impenetrable short-range air defense missile system, something like the RAM system with missiles from PM, and installed in the center plane of the ship to an amount of at least two PU. (stern and bow). As on German corvettes. And this should be done for a long time, since the appearance of small-sized aircraft bombs, which any fighter can pour out in dozens, requires an urgent solution to this problem. Since the presence of 12-32 SD missiles on our BNK will not save the situation.
    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 12 June 2020 10: 17
      0
      Yes ... indeed ... there is a "theme" of creating an air defense system not of a "traditional" type, but of a purely anti-missile complex, as it was once implemented in the immediate protection complex of the RAM ship ... A more "specialized" missile (interceptor) is also needed ... For this, "type ,, ram" is suitable, that is, with a combined seeker (IR + PR.GSN) or an interceptor with AR.GSN.MM, and for "complete happiness" - AR.GSN.MM + IK. .. Also, a more maneuverable missile is needed ... which means gas-dynamic control ...
      1. Genry
        Genry 12 June 2020 13: 10
        +1
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        A more "specialized" missile (interceptor) is also needed ...

        There are 9M100.
        The Pantsir works well against single missiles.
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 12 June 2020 14: 06
          +1
          Quote: Genry
          There are 9M100.
          "Shell" works normally against single missiles

          More NEW ammo needed! If the Russian Ministry of Defense understood this, then after a while we should expect the corresponding "news"!
          1. Genry
            Genry 12 June 2020 14: 10
            +1
            Quote: Nikolaevich I
            Need more NEW ammunition!

            What are you missing? What characteristics are needed?
            And then as an accountant at work: "I want a new computer." Yes, please get: new but the same.
            1. Nikolaevich I
              Nikolaevich I 12 June 2020 15: 04
              0
              And I thought that there is a difference between "new" .... (but the same) and NEW ... even visual! wink As for the characteristics, I have already expressed myself in a previous comment ... [/ b] ---- more "specialized" missile (interceptor). that is, with a combined seeker (IK + PR.GSN) or an interceptor with AR.GSN.MM, and for "complete happiness" - AR.GSN.MM + IK ... A more maneuverable missile is also needed ... which means - with gas dynamic control ... 1.Lighter (small) missiles will be needed, which can be placed more on the "same" launcher ... 2. It will still be necessary to equip the seeker interceptor missiles ..., for example, IR + PRGSNMM; 3-mode ARGSNMM; 3. Equipping interceptors with DPU (property of "super-maneuverability") There are ideas for interceptors of a different concept, but I will not talk about that yet. As an additional means of countering anti-missile missiles, we can offer "copter" type drones equipped with radar simulators ... corner reflectors to create active and passive interference ... ..
              1. Genry
                Genry 12 June 2020 18: 18
                +2
                Quote: Nikolaevich I
                a more maneuverable missile is needed ... and therefore with gas-dynamic control.

                In dense atmospheric layers (low altitudes) for short-range air defense missiles, gas dynamics is not needed.
                The 9M100 has an infrared seeker and a controlled thrust vector of the engine - this is more than enough to intercept enemy missiles on the final trajectory when it is already fraught with maneuvering.
                "Carapace" is also good at shooting down anti-radar missiles, but it has a low rate of fire (max 10 targets per minute).
                1. Nikolaevich I
                  Nikolaevich I 13 June 2020 01: 52
                  0
                  9M100 is a good interceptor! But in modern wars, and even more so, wars of the "near future" air defense systems, both "land" and naval, will have to defend themselves from a large (!) Number of attacking anti-radar ammunition ... while maintaining the function of defeating a large number of weapons carriers air-to-surface! Then it will be difficult to eat a fish and read Playboy at the same time! characteristics of an interceptor missile, for example, of the RIM-116A type ... 9M100-more "heavy and large" ... they will fit much less on the launcher! GOS (IR + passive "radar") "from RIM-116A" is very expedient for an interceptor missile for "harm-like" PR missiles (!), given the rather long operation of the engine and the operation of the active MM-range radar seeker! A combined GOS is desirable, sir! I already wrote that the development of an active radar seeker is desirable for the 9M100 ... In the version of an interceptor for PR missiles 3- or 2-mode MM-range radar seeker is desirable with a combination of active, semi-active, passive or active, passive modes! What the 9M100 missiles do not have ... When intercepting supersonic PR missiles of the "harm" type of the latest modification, the gas-dynamic control of the DPT type, in my opinion, is more preferable than the gas-dynamic control of the OVT type ... because. provides even greater maneuverability ... more "lightning-fast" response when correcting an interceptor's outlined miss! At what it can work, even when the propulsion engine "burns out".
                  1. Genry
                    Genry 13 June 2020 11: 02
                    0
                    Quote: Nikolaevich I
                    In the PR-missile interceptor variant, a 3- or 2-mode MM-range radar seeker with a combination of active, semi-active, passive or active, passive modes is desirable!

                    Now, explain why all this is needed for a short-range missile? And in your RIM-116 this is not.
                    Quote: Nikolaevich I
                    9M100-more "heavy and large" ... they will fit much less on the PU

                    Given that the 9M100 is placed in vertical launchers, without a heavy turret, the number will be the same, while improving the reaction to targets from different angles. Large dimension, gives great energy and allows you to use a rocket as ground-water (ground-to-ground), and, at low altitude, the range can reach 30km.
                    Quote: Nikolaevich I
                    gas-dynamic control of the DPT type, in my opinion, is more preferable than the gas-dynamic control of the OVT type ... because. provides even more agility ... more "lightning" reaction

                    The 9M100 already has such a reserve for overloading the maneuver that it makes no sense to go further.
          2. 5-9
            5-9 14 June 2020 10: 31
            0
            What for? The main plus of the Shell is just cheap rockets and that there are many of them ...
      2. Angry
        Angry 12 June 2020 15: 33
        -1
        I, as if fountaining, see PU A-215 "Grad-M with 8 blocks for 160 NURS, which, if something happens," screwing on the simplest seeker can create "fences" at ranges of up to 40 km for all flying objects, including terrible ones. " drones ".... or further ???
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 12 June 2020 16: 52
          0
          A similar option is also possible ... Of course, it is not necessary to make an "immediate protection system" on the "base" of A-215 ... (a ship, an air defense missile system, another object ...)! But at one time, MLRS of a similar purpose were proposed ... the difference of which was a large "multi-charge", "thanks to" small-caliber ... for example, the French! In the USSR "Mozyr" can serve as an example to follow. At the present time, "Tekhmash" is going to do something similar. A long firing range for systems of this purpose is not at all necessary ... (anyway, a PR-missile, for example, will not go anywhere ... it will fly to a known "point"! ...) NURSs and other uncontrolled submunitions were proposed as striking elements ... The functionality was to "fill" the calculated BIUS of the "space cube" defense system, where, according to "all calculations", an enemy missile should fly ... PRR or anti-ship missile! But such systems also have disadvantages ... It seems that "specialized" anti-missile systems with guided missiles are more promising ... missiles with homing missiles!
  3. Tugarin
    Tugarin 12 June 2020 08: 18
    +7
    We, too, would not hurt to buy heels of pieces - for study. They bought the X-31 from us. I wonder under what "tsar" this was allowed?
    It’s a pity they don’t sell ...
    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 12 June 2020 11: 39
      +2
      When EBN it was- when the MA-31 sold
  4. Operator
    Operator 12 June 2020 11: 45
    -4
    The body of the new rocket for compactness is equipped with aerodynamic ridges instead of wings - see the photo of the layout in the internal compartment of the F-35 weapon.

    The Americans are very strange people: an anti-radar missile with a flight speed of 2M is knocked out "from a slingshot" by any anti-aircraft missiles when approaching the near air defense zone.
    1. Angry
      Angry 12 June 2020 15: 29
      0
      Well, if the crew has a sober competent calculation, with a higher technical education, and not like in Libya, the shells were controlled by stoned fellahs in slippers ....
    2. Yarhann
      Yarhann 13 June 2020 23: 29
      0
      The speed was reduced to increase the range - there is nothing surprising here. In such sizes there is no other option. I think the main goal will still be not ground-based radars, but air-based ones, that is, AWACS aircraft, bombers, transport aircraft, etc.
  5. Old26
    Old26 12 June 2020 20: 08
    +3
    Quote: Genry
    Ground defense is always more advantageous than air defense. There is no restriction on energy ....

    And it was well shown by the example of the first war in the gulf. When US countermeasures were able to drown out tightly all of Iraq’s air defense.
    And some of our chief designers alas left for another world after tests at the Southern training ground, when its air defense systems could not oppose anything to the aviation component attacking the complexes in a training battle. It is not worth it to relate to this development option and make the next super-wunderwaffe unparalleled in the world from its own RSL systems.
    1. Yarhann
      Yarhann 13 June 2020 23: 35
      0
      my good specialist on air defense systems, in Iraq there was a rather miserable air defense system-missile defense the old air defense systems operating at fixed frequencies are quite successfully jammed and this is not a secret. There was also a weak air component of the anti-aircraft missile defense system - that is, hawks that were supposed to destroy the jammers. The layered air defense system does not consist of ground-based systems alone - the air component is mandatory - AWACS, RTR and hawk airplanes.
  6. prior
    prior 13 June 2020 07: 14
    -2
    And the AGM-88G missile is really very powerful.
    One launch of such a missile in the direction of the Russian object and ... and Washington is not, and there is no New York ......, and alas, America, too ....
  7. timokhin-aa
    timokhin-aa 13 June 2020 11: 25
    +2
    It will not fly 300 km. The Americans do not reveal the real range, but about twice as large as the usual "short" missile.
  8. forpost
    forpost 14 June 2020 00: 11
    0
    The new missile will be adapted for placement in the internal arms compartments of Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters (F-35B / C aircraft will only be able to carry it on external suspensions)
  9. 5-9
    5-9 14 June 2020 10: 41
    0
    PRR is a thing in principle with dubious effectiveness (although F16 by Harm according to Patriot has definitely figured it out), so the addition of ARLGSN will increase efficiency ... But the missile is more likely a sea missile, a variant of RCC ... On land, its sworn armor will be knocked down at such speed, and the price with two GSNs go well for lam bucks will fly away ....
    1. Maksim_ok
      Maksim_ok 22 August 2020 22: 30
      0
      You're wrong
  10. Maksim_ok
    Maksim_ok 22 August 2020 22: 27
    0
    “The current rocket AGM-88G AARGM-ER is another representative of a rather old family, dating back to the AGM-88 HARM product. At the same time, it is being developed on the basis of the later AGM-88E AARGM and is maximally unified with it. In both cases, we are talking about a serious restructuring of the original structure, which appeared back in the eighties "

    - So it is written that the reader may get the impression that we are talking about some kind of modernization of an old rocket. In fact, this is not the case. The AGM-88G is a new rocket that resembles its predecessors from the 80s, rather only for its intended purpose. It is only the control system that makes it related to the current AGM-88E serial rocket, which may well still undergo changes, in terms of software, for sure, plus updated components.

    In fact, the missile control system 88E (and future 88G) is special in that it includes a passive radar sensor, plus an active millimeter-wave radar in the final section, plus INC / GPS (and the newest military signal M-code is supported) a two-way transmission channel data and digital map of the area. Also warhead with Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) technology to increase the density of the fragmentation field and the likelihood of damage (version 88G)
    I don't remember any other missiles with such technologies. Very dangerous car