F/A-18, AARGM-ER flight completed with separation test vehicle

An F/A-18 flies with an Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) during a captive carry flight test at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland. The Navy is integrating AARGM-ER on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and will be compatible for integration of the F-35.

The U.S. Navy completed an Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile — Extended Range (AARGM-ER) captive carry flight on an F/A-18 Super Hornet April 22 at NAS Patuxent River in support of the first live fire event this spring.

This flight marked the first time the AARGM-ER weapon demonstrated it could communicate with the F/A-18 E/F aircraft. The Separation Test Vehicle (STV) used its hardware and software to facilitate the controlled free flight.

“Data collected from this testing will support expansion of flight testing with AARGM-ER to the full performance envelope of F/A-18 Super Hornet”, said Capt. Mitch Commerford, program manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242). “This flight represents a significant step in the AARGM-ER engineering and manufacturing development phase.”

During the test, the F/A-18 Super Hornet conducted a series of aerial maneuvers in order to evaluate compatibility of the AARGM-ER with the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The test points completed during this flight test event substantiated F/A-18 carriage compatibility.

AARGM-ER is being integrated on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and will be compatible for integration of the F-35. By leveraging the U.S. Navy’s AARGM program that’s in Full Rate Production, the AARGM-ER with a new rocket motor and warhead will provide advanced capability to detect and engage enemy air defense systems.