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U.S. Navy tests upgraded missile

The Navy is conducting live-fire tests of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile, which has been upgraded with new software.

By Richard Tomkins
U.S. Navy tests upgraded missile
A Navy fighter fires an AGM-88 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile. U.S. Navy photo.

DULLES, Va., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile successfully hit a mobile ship target in a live-fire test of its modified software.

Orbital ATK, the manufacturer of the weapon, said the test was the first in a series of Block 1 upgrade demonstrations and was conducted at the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range in California.

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"The block upgrade testing demonstrated that the hardware, software and aircraft systems all worked together resulting in the successful live fire of the weapon," said Bill Kasting, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK's Defense Electronic Systems division of the Defense System's Group. "We look forward to rolling out these upgrades throughout the fleet, upon the successful completion of follow-on operational testing."

AARGM is an air-launched tactical missile system that upgrades legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with advanced capability. It gives pilots in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against surface-to-air threats.

It uses an anti-radiation homing sensor and millimeter wave radar to detect, identify, locate and engage moving targets.

The missile gained initial operational capability with the Navy in July 2012 and was approved for full-rate production in September of the same year.

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