Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Orbital ATK Inc., has been awarded a modified contract for engineering studies and service support for the development of Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles, or AARGM, an upgrade to the AGM-88 HARM systems.
The deal, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $32.9 million under a cost-plus-fixed fee contract, which is a cost-reimbursement deal where the fee can be adjusted based on differences in work performed by Orbital.
Officials say Orbital was enabled to procure "engineering studies, logistics and test planning activities to support the development of design adaptations" for the AGM-88 HARM. The contract is in support of small business innovation research phase three work titled "Secondary Sensor for Anti-Radiation Missiles."
Work on the contract will be performed in Northridge, Calif., and is expected to be completed in February 2019. U.S. Navy fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3.3 million will be obligated at time of award, with all of the funds expiring at the end of the current fiscal year.
A second contract for research on the AARGM was also awarded to Orbital on Monday. That deal, worth $17.1 million, is focused on evaluation of system requirements and design trade space for eventual extended range development and further adaptations for the missile's subsystems and components.
Work on the second contract will also be performed in Northridge, with fiscal 2017 Navy research, development, test and evaluation funds of $2.2 million obligated at the time of the award and set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
In August, Orbital rolled out a software upgrade to the AGM-88 HARM. The AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system that upgrades legacy AGM-88 HARM system. It can engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats and time-sensitive targets.
Last month, the defense contractor began converting high-speed, anti-radiation missiles into advanced medium-range air-to-ground guided missiles with counter-enemy shutdown capability for the Italian government. In military terms, this transitions AGM-88B High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, or HARM, to the latest generation hardware, the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile.
The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.