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Italy to receive additional AGM-88E guided missiles

By James LaPorta
An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 conducts a captive carry flight test of an AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Photo by Greg L. Davis/U.S. Navy
An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 conducts a captive carry flight test of an AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Photo by Greg L. Davis/U.S. Navy

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced an award modification worth more than $18.2 million to convert high-speed, anti-radiation missiles into advanced medium-range air-to-ground guided missiles with counter-enemy shutdown capability for the Italian government.

Orbital ATK Inc., Defense Electronic Systems, out of Northridge, Ca., was awarded the contract, which was modified from a previous firm-fixed contract award for the procurement and transition of AGM-88B High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, or HARM, to the latest generation hardware, the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile or AARGM -- a medium-range air-to ground missile.

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The deal would include related supplies and services to manufacture and deploy the products to the government of Italy, according to a statement from Navy officials.

The main difference between the AGM-88E HARM and the new AGM-88E AARGM is that the AARGM has an advanced guidance section and control abilities that use a multi-mode seeker to counter enemy shut-down capability.

Additionally, the AARGM has an onboard Weapons Impact Assessment subsystem that supports battlefield commanders in conducting after-action battle damage assessments. The missile can relay impact assessment data prior to the impact on target.

The majority of the work will be completed in California, to include, Istrana, Italy. The project is expected to be completed by March 2019.

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Orbital ATK Inc., and its subsidiaries have worked on 8,053 federal government contracts worth $20.4 billion since fiscal year 2007. In fiscal year 2016 alone, the organization received a total of $2.31 billion, according to an analysis from InsideGov.

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