AARGM-ER cleared for EMD [for F-35A/C & other aircraft]

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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popcorn

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Unread post12 Mar 2019, 05:09

squirrelshoes wrote:
popcorn wrote:
bring_it_on wrote:I don"t see the advantage as a glide bomb would be too slow. Wouldn't you want something that you can fire ahead of the strike package from a further distance to suppress enemy defenses?
I think the only advantages would be magazine depth and armament flexibility.

An aircraft flying with 8 SDBs could be engaging tanks or personnel but also engage a popup SAM threat, whereas another aircraft with a couple of AARGMs is far less flexible in mission. Obviously the AARGM are superior for dedicated SEAD/DEAD but if SDB seeker could do passive antiradiation as well it might have a use.

Exactly, Stormbreaker already exists. No need for a variant with an AARGM-like seeker IMO.
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Unread post12 Mar 2019, 14:20

The AF has already been trying out SDB's equipped with HOJ seekers for a specific mission type. I think if you can have ARH along with GPS/INS then it becomes an even better SEAD/DEAD weapon when compared to the Multi mode SDB II. Let's see what concepts the USAF tries out under its AS2030 efforts.
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Unread post13 Mar 2019, 22:18

Northrop Grumman starts full-scale development of AARGM-ER radar-killing missile for Navy combat aircraft
08 Mar 2019 John Keller

"PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy aerial warfare experts are beginning full-scale development of a new and advanced radar-killing missile designed to enable U.S. jet fighter-bombers suppress enemy air defenses preceding bomber attacks.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $322.5 million contract Thursday to the Northrop Grumman Corp. Innovation Systems segment (formerly Orbital ATK) in Dulles, Va., for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER)….

...AARGM provides the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Italian air force with a weapon system for engaging and destroying enemy air defenses and time-critical, mobile targets. The AARGM also has precise Global Positioning System (GPS)/inertial navigation system (INS) guidance and network-centric connectivity.

The AARGM offers advanced signal processing and improved frequency coverage, detection range, and field of view, compared to earlier versions of the HARM system. It has time-critical standoff strike with supersonic GPS/INS point-to-point or point-to-millimeter-wave-terminal guidance.

It also has missile impact zone control to prevent collateral damage through tightly coupled, digital terrain elevation database-aided GPS/INS, as well as counter-emitter shutdown through active millimeter-wave-radar terminal guidance.

In early 2018 Orbital ATK engineers started upgrading the sensors and embedded computing components of the AGM-88E to help mitigate existing missile cost and production issues. This project involved building the executive processor circuit card assembly for the missile's advanced digital anti-radiation homing sensor and its millimeter wave radar terminal seeker.

These upgrades were to support Naval Air Systems Command's Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office. Upgrades were to mitigate cost and production issues, as well as incorporate hardware for future expansion...."

Source: https://www.militaryaerospace.com/artic ... gm-er.html
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https://www.militaryaerospace.com/artic ... ssile.html
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 04:16

LONG Article BEST READ - with plenty of photos/graphics - at source.
Air Force To Turn Navy Air Defense Busting Missile Into High-Speed Critical Strike Weapon
18 Mar 2019 Joseph Trevithick & Tyler Rogoway

"The new missile will give the service's F-35As a key tool to rapidly destroy air defenses, ballistic and cruise missile launchers, and other threats.

he U.S. Air Force has revealed that it is working to turn the U.S. Navy’ s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range, or AARGM-ER, into a fast-flying strike weapon that its F-35A Joint Strike Fighters will be able to use against a variety of time-sensitive targets. This is something that The War Zone had thought would be the case based on previous information about this program. The new missile would give those stealthy jets, as well as other aircraft in the future, an important tool for quickly knocking down anti-access and area denial threats, as well as destroying pop-up targets on short notice.

What appears to be the first public announcement that the AARGM-ER would serve as the basis for what the Air Force officially refers to as the Stand In Attack Weapon, or SiAW, was included in detailed documents about the service’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020, which it released on Mar. 18, 2019. Mention of the SiAW had first appeared in the Air Force’s budget request for the 2018 fiscal cycle, which came out in February 2017, but the line items made no mention of using a particular missile as the starting point....

...The SiAW will feature a different warhead and fuze, of unspecified types, which the Navy began working on in the 2019 Fiscal Year. The Navy already has a requirement for the AARGM-ER to fit inside the weapon bays of its F-35C, so the new variant just needs to retain a similar dimensional profile for the F-35A to carry it internally.

The Air Force will also need to make sure the flight computer on its jets can “talk” with the missile, something the service has been working on itself since FY19. The USAF's latest budget proposal asks for nearly $163 million in additional funding to continue this developmental work. The AARGM-ER is already set to be an extremely capable missile. This is why it seemed like an obvious choice for at least a starting place for the SiAW to us at The War Zone last year....

...The SiAW program makes good sense given concerns about increasingly dense integrated air defense environments in the future, especially those that Russia and China are working to establish. Stealthy features and defensive electronic warfare systems may not be enough to guarantee survival against networks of advanced enemy radars and other sensors linked to long-range surface-to-air missiles and increasingly capable jamming systems.

There is always the potential for pop-up systems to appear with little notice and for wild card threats to emerge. This is to say nothing of other kinetic and non-kinetic weapons that could challenge American forces on the ground, at sea, or even in space, as the Air Force’s budget documents note....

...The F-35A will almost certainly only be the first platform to get the SiAW, not the last. The Air Force’s 2018 Fiscal Year budget proposal mentioned a desire to also integrate it onto the upcoming B-21 Raider stealth bomber....

...With the impending demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, between the United States and Russia, the U.S. military will only be presented with more threats from ground-launched cruise missiles and theater ballistic missiles, in the coming years. Ballistic and cruise missile technology, in particular, as well as road-mobile launchers for these weapons, are steadily proliferating, even among non-state actors, as well.

With all this in mind, the Air Force’s new “stand-in” missile is one of, if not the most relevant air-launched weapon one could imagine to help the Air Force respond the most significant threats it faces in the near future."

Source: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27 ... ike-weapon)
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 07:14

The missile also has a two-way data link so the launching aircraft, or another source,
can feed it new target information in flight.


Since when?
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 08:02

The "2" in two-way is just for BDA. It has a normal 1-way datalink for target updates.

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovclou ... /AARGM.pdf
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 15:05

Northrop Grumman awarded AARGM-ER EMD contract
19 Mar 2019 Robin Hughes

"...The AARGM-ER development is part of the evolution strategy of the in-service AGM-88E Block 1 AARGM, and it leverages existing subsystems and components from the in-service AARGM, including the sensors, electronics, and warhead.

Northrop Grumman's AARGM-ER design introduces a new aft actuator control system - designed by Northrop Grumman Missile Systems - with the mid-body wings on the legacy AARGM removed. This not only enables a form fit capability internal to the F-35 but also improves manoeuvrability and reduces drag. The company has introduced side-body strakes that deliver lift during the missile's flight. To assist the required range increment, the existing mid-body control section componentry is repackaged to deliver additional space for propulsion, while the airframe is tapered up from aft of the seeker section to deliver an approximate 10% increase in diameter, with consequent additional volume for propulsion. A new solid propellant rocket motor for the AARGM-ER will be designed and integrated by Northrop Grumman Missile Systems."

Source: https://www.janes.com/article/87325/nor ... d-contract
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 17:13

The diameter increase of 10% results is a 21% increase in propulsion alone plus the motor length increase due to the reduction of the control section. An overall 25%- 30% increase in propulsion is likely.
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 19:36

The USAF is spending about $20 Million this and next fiscal year to develop the warhead and fuse for the SiAW/AARGMER..Northrop has in the past claimed that its LEO design would have AARGM as a candidate weapon...

In a statement, Northrop Grumman said: “Early LEO designs focused on light target requirements, future LEO designs will require the ability to defeat medium to medium-heavy targets. Preliminary results indicate that the new warhead will defeat medium to medium-heavy targets while maintaining the original performance. This provides a great flexibility to the warfighter, where a single weapon can defeat a wide spectrum of targets. LEO also provides penetration survivability against buildings for greater warfighter flexibility and predicable patterns for low collateral damage mission capabilities, providing a safer alternative to some legacy munitions, which can cause unintended harm to civilians and infrastructure.”

The series of demonstrations of the new warhead development were conducted in response to a customer requirement and will ultimately lead to a contract to further develop the technology, the spokesperson added.

Initially developed, beginning 2016, as the Alternative Warhead solution to replace the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) on the US Army’s 270 mm Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), LEO warhead technology has been tested on large to miniature munitions, including 155 mm artillery projectiles, the M1061 60 mm mortar rounds, and the Hatchet miniature precision strike munition. A LEO warhead solution is also being developed for the extended-range variant of its AGM-88E Block 1 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM-ER), which is scheduled to enter the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase next year.


https://www.janes.com/article/84118/nor ... c-missiles

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 21:11

What is "LEO"?

I couldn't figure it out. The Google coughed up this:

Orbital ATK’s LEO Warhead – the Alternative to Cluster Munitions
March 16, 2016

At the start of the new year, Orbital ATK’s Fuze and Warhead team – part of its Defense Systems Group – announced it had signed and important agreement for production of its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) for the U.S. Army. The ‘alternative’ in the title refers to an alternative to cluster munitions. Cluster munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched weapons that release a number of smaller submunitions. First developed in World War II and currently part of many nations’ weapons stockpiles, the use of cluster munitions has become highly scrutinized in recent years due to the risk posed from unexploded ordnance (UX).

...

In 2008, Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed a Pentagon cluster munitions policy directing that, by 2018, the military must only use weapons that do not result in more than one percent UX, opening the door for its Alternative Warhead Program (AWP). And while the AWP commitment was to reduce the percentage of unexploded ordnance from cluster munitions to just one percent; the ultimate goal was to eliminate unexploded ordnance completely. “Technically speaking, that’s pretty hard to do—especially less than one percent duds,” Rice told the Inside the Army. “It effectively calls for something other than a cluster munition to attack broadly dispersed targets.”
MLRS
An Army file photo shows an example of an earlier Multiple Launch Rocket System firing.

Enter Orbital ATK. With decades of experience in insensitive munitions, our Fuze and Warhead team in Plymouth, Minnesota, began developing a warhead that was something “other than a cluster munition.” This Design must meet the goal of eliminating UX completely without reducing the effectiveness the military had come to count on.

The result was Orbital ATK’s Lethality Enhanced Ordnance technology, or LEO. Instead of submunitions, LEO relies on inert projectiles placed inside the warhead. In tests, the Orbital ATK warheads with LEO technology achieved the Army’s stated requirements for area effectiveness, but left behind no unexploded ordnance.

[... more at the jump ...]

https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/features/orbital-atks-leo-warhead-the-alternative-to-cluster-munitions
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 21:23

Also relevant:

Northrop Grumman tests new LEO warhead for hypersonic missiles
Robin Hughes, London - Jane's Missiles & Rockets 29 October 2018

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Northrop Grumman recently completed series testing of a new 50 lb-class warhead designed to equip future US air-to-surface and surface-to-surface hypersonic weapons to defeat a broader range of target sets, from ground forces to light/medium vehicles and aircraft.

The new warhead leverages the company's Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) technology: a scalable fragmentation/penetration warhead solution developed by Northrop Grumman in response to a US Department of Defense (DoD) requirement that by 2019 cluster munitions containing submunitions do not result in more than 1% unexploded ordnance (UXO) after arming. Unlike submunitions, LEO technology uses a thinned out shell casing supplemented with an inner fragmentation layer that can be scaled according to the required target set. Northrop Grumman said that in a series of warhead tests - started in early 2018 and completed in August - with LEO technology achieved the army's stated requirements for area effectiveness, but left behind no UXO.

Northrop Grumman uses an in-house developed modelling tool to accurately determine the size, velocity, and distribution (fuze sensor/height of burst) of fragmentation required to optimise a weapon's performance against its intended target set. Correspondingly, this reduces the time spent in the design phase.

"LEO is a fairly generic technology: PBXN-110 explosive fill and fragmentation layer. It's how we array those fragments that determines the desired effects," Pat Nolan, vice-president and general manager for missile products at Northrop Grumman, told Jane's .

In late March this year at the EMPI Test Facility in Burnet, Texas, Northrop Grumman, using internal research and development (IRAD) funding, demonstrated the new warhead for the first time to customers competing for the DoD hypersonic weapons contracts. The new warhead development also marks the first time that the company has made some of its specific warhead components - including the fragmenting inner body - using additive manufacturing (AM).

https://www.janes.com/article/84118/northrop-grumman-tests-new-leo-warhead-for-hypersonic-missiles


Orbital ATK tests partially 3D printed warhead for hypersonic weapons
By: Jen Judson   April 9, 2018

BURNET, Texas — The 50-lb warhead arrived to the test site in the Texas desert in the back of a dust-covered Jeep nestled in an unassuming open, beat-up cardboard box.

Less than 30 minutes later, the warhead exploded from its perch hanging from a couple of 2x4s, driving into the ground below and sending thin metal panels around it — set up to measure fragmentation from the blast — flying backward. A shockwave ripped through the ground and could be felt many hundreds of yards away in a bunker.

When the dust settled, the fragmentation-pocked metal panels lay contorted on the earth and evidence of a warhead test was everywhere including fragmentation embedded deep in random test rigging and the tip of the warhead resting on the ground in the center of the test arena.

“It’s too early to say it’s going to match our model, but it’s what we were expecting,” Richard Truitt, Orbital ATK’s program manager for warhead development programs, told Defense News while surveying the aftermath.

The warhead — designed for hypersonic applications — marks a major first for the company. Three out of five of its major components were made using additive manufacturing. And the March 29 test was the first time Orbital ATK has tested a warhead built partially from 3D-printed materials.

Hypersonic weapons are anything that can exceed Mach 5, which is five times faster than the speed of sound.

The company has developed its Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) warhead capability and some modeling techniques to help look at fragmentation design on certain target sets, Pat Nolan, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s missile products division, told Defense News in a recent interview before the test.

“Now we’re coupling our rocket motor hypersonic experience with our warhead design experience to design a warhead that can survive at high speeds, high temperatures, when you’re going that fast,” Nolan said before the test. The test will examine what effects the fragmentation will have on various targets.

[... and more at the jump about hypersonic this and that ...]

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/04/09/orbital-atk-tests-partially-3d-printed-warhead-for-hypersonic-weapons/


Not sure that one can draw the conclusion that AARGM-ER is going to be a Mach 5+ missile. AGM-88E is reportedly only a Mach 2 airframe. Sounds like NG is simply leveraging their IRAD investment in a new warhead design that oughta work well on the AARGM-ER.
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 23:17

steve2267 wrote:Also relevant:



That Jane's article is linked in my post above.

Not sure that one can draw the conclusion that AARGM-ER is going to be a Mach 5+ missile. AGM-88E is reportedly only a Mach 2 airframe. Sounds like NG is simply leveraging their IRAD investment in a new warhead design that oughta work well on the AARGM-ER.


As the article states, Northrop Grumman IS is leveraging the technology on a whole host of programs and weapon systems. One application being hypersonic weapons, while the article very clearly mentions that NG is also developing a LEO warhead for the AARGM-ER.

A LEO warhead solution is also being developed for the extended-range variant of its AGM-88E Block 1 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM-ER), which is scheduled to enter the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase next year.


As far as the AARGM-ER speed is concerned, while not directly providing a number here's a quote from OATK from a couple of years ago (they've never mentioned hypersonic speeds)-

'Increased Survivability' is built into the AARGM ER requirement, although Stuart declined to comment on the specifics of the Orbital ATK solution, noting only that "speed is in the equation. We're going double the range in about the same amount of time, and you have to increase speed to achieve that; so speed in and of itself is an improvement to survivability. There are other aspects of our design solution that improve survivability, but these are not releasable".


https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/ ... #msg307762
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Unread post21 Mar 2019, 00:09

So it's a better HE-FRAG warhead, not DPICM "replacement". "Bigger-better-badder" fragmentation is going to do squat against armor, unlike true DPICM, like BONUS or Rockeye or whatever else.

Here's a video:


Of all the weapons they show, none have been "demonstrated" against "targeting objective: heavy target" and only Hatchet is "planned" to target "heavy targets", although I fail to see how a 60mm, six pound total weight unitary munition can effectively penetrate more than one tank.

Getting rid of cluster munitions is stupid, especially if the other side has no problem dropping RBK-500s and incendiaries in urban areas.
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Unread post21 Mar 2019, 01:26

Unitaries are for soft targets, and cluster munitions were more meant for light armor than heavy. For heavy armor, you are really going to want precision guidance and a top attack.
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Unread post21 Mar 2019, 02:02

Was the Sensor Fuzed Weapon considered a "cluster munition"? If it met the 1% UX rate... SFW would seem to be an ideal anti-armor weapon -- it reportedly did a number on Iraqi armor, including heavy armor I would have to think, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Except that apparently Textron voluntarily stopped manufacturing it.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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