Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile and HDAM
Origin: United States of America
ATK Alliant Techsystems
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Description: The AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) is an air-to-surface supersonic, long range missile designed to seek out and destroy enemy radar systems. It was designed as an advanced follow on to Standard ARM and Shrike anti-radiation missiles. The HARM's guidance package, with full frequency coverage, is locked on enemy's radar systems emissions following them through radar site. Radar systems physical destruction is achieved through a single blast fragmentation warhead. The first combat use of AGM-88 missiles was in Libya in 1986. During the gulf war in 1991, more than 2,000 HARMs were fired against Iraq's radar systems becoming the weapon of choice in the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). The HARM missile can be released from many aircraft. The F-16C is the only HARM-capable aircraft of the US Air Force.
The HARM missile can operate in three modes: pre-emptive, missile-as-a-sensor and self-protect. In the pre-emptive mode the missile is fired before locking on the potential threat. Targeting is provided through pre-flight planning or cued via aircraft's sensors. The missile-as-a-sensor mode allows aircraft to use externally attached HARM missiles as a sensor (using its seeker) to locate radar emissions. Self-protect mode means the missile is fired to destroy threatening radar emissions. The scope of capabilities of the HARM missile family expands from the basic AGM-88A introduced in 1982 to the latest AGM-88F planned for 2015-2016. More than 23,000 AGM-88 missiles have been produced or are under contract to date with more than 4,000 employed in combat.
The AARGM (Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile) will feature the latest software (software seems to be the cornerstone of the HARM missile) and enhanced capabilities. The AARGM is intended to counter radar shutdown. A passive radar and an active millimeter wave seekers will be installed on the AARGM. In June 2003, ATK won a $223 million contract for the development of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The whole program was valued at $1.55 billion ($1.69 billion Sept 2007 estimate).
In November 2005 the Italian Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense signed a Memorandum of Agreement on the joint development of the AGM-88E AARGM missile. Italy was providing $20 million of developmental funding as well as several millions worth material, equipment and related services. The Italian Air Force was expected to procure up to 250 missiles for its Tornado ECR aircraft. Thus flight test program was set to integrate the AARGM onto Tornado ECR's weapon system.
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