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Italy, ATK And U.S. Navy Sign MoU For AARGM Missile Development

Illustration of the AARGM missile. The AARGM weapon is a medium range, supersonic, air-launched tactical missile compatible with U.S. and Allied F/A-18, EA-6B, F-16 CJ/MJU and Tornado IDS/ECR aircraft. Its multi-sensor system, including a Millimeter Wave (MMW) transceiver, advanced digital Anti-Radiation Homing (ARH) receiver and a tightly coupled GPS/INS, is capable of selectively engaging a variety of time-sensitive strike targets in addition to enemy air defense targets even after radar emissions are shut down. AARGM also provides near real-time Weapon Impact Assessments (WIA) to support joint force commanders. AARGM, the successor to the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), is a Navy major acquisition program.

Minneapolis MN (SPX) Nov 16, 2005
U.S. defense contractor Alliant Techsystems has announced that a Memorandum of Agreement between the Italian Ministry of Defense and U.S. Department of Defense has been signed establishing a partnership for the joint development of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM).

AARGM is the follow-on to the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). It will greatly enhance the warfighter's capability to defeat enemy air defenses and strike other time sensitive targets through a cost-effective upgrade to existing HARM missiles.

AARGM and future derivatives may be made available to selected U.S. allies to significantly enhance their respective warfighting capabilities and to improve coalition force interoperability.

"AARGM is assigned the task of defeating enemy air defenses, and when it enters service it will immediately become the most advanced anti-radiation air-to-ground weapon system in the arsenals of the U.S. Navy and participating allied nations," said Captain Mark Converse, USN Program Manager, PMA-242.

"We are pleased to welcome Italy to the team and look forward to the many contributions Italian industry will make as we proceed with development."

The Italian Government will provide approximately $20 million of developmental funding. In addition, it will make several million dollars worth of non-financial contributions, including surrogate targets/simulators. ATK's Italian industry partners will develop, manufacture and deliver real and surrogate air defense systems for use in a dedicated seeker captive flight test program. The cooperative development team will conduct this program at the flight test center at Pratica di Mare, Italy and Sardinia range facilities.

The Italian industry partners will also support the AARGM program by providing an appropriate aircraft to be used by the Italian Air Force for the captive flight tests of the AARGM seeker assembly, as well as supplying requisite CFT support services for the duration of the captive flight program in Italy. Additionally, Italian industry will be tasked to modify, assemble, integrate, and test prototype AARGM common control sections, and perform synthetic target signature studies and analysis.

The Italian Air Force plans to deploy the AARGM missiles on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. "When carrying ATK's AARGM under its wing, the Italian Tornado ECR will have unmatched capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (DEAD) missions," said Brian Lawrence, Vice President for International Cooperative Programs at ATK.

Once in production, the Italian Air Force is expected to procure approximately 250 AARGM systems. The U.S. Navy is expected to procure approximately 1,750 systems. Several other allied nations have also expressed interest in the weapon system.

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US Discussing Missile Defense Site In Europe With Poland
Washington (AFP) Nov 16, 2005
The United States is discussing with Poland and other countries possible sites in Europe for a missile interceptor base capable of protecting the continent against long-range missile attack, a senior defense official said Wednesday.

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