The third test launch of the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) was a complete success, according to a statement from Northrop Grumman Corporation. The test was conducted at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of California. The US Navy’s F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole fighter was used as the missile carrier. Little was revealed about the methodology of the test. The missile was to detect the target using its on-board guidance system that registers the electromagnetic emissions of an enemy ground-based radar station. The test used an unspecified imitator of a ground-based air defence radar station. Once fired by the carrier aircraft, the AARGM-ER guided itself to and hit the target.
Despite its similar designation (AGM-88x), the AGM-88G AARGM-ER has nothing to do with the existing line of AGM-88x HARM/AARGM anti-radiation missiles, apart from its function. The AARGM-ER is a completely new design missile commissioned by the US Navy. It features a new fuselage with a new aerodynamic system, a new propulsion system and a new guidance system with passive and active components (an active radar sensor operating in the millimetre band to capture the target at the end of the trajectory) supported by GPS satellite navigation. There are plans for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multirole fighters (EA-18G Growler version) and F-35C airborne aircraft to be carriers of the AARGM-ER in the US Navy.