The U.S. Navy have completed the first captive carry flight test of an Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) missile on an F/A-18 Super Hornet at the Patuxent River test range.
During the test, the U.S. Navy say that the F/A-18 Super Hornet conducted a series of aerial maneuvers in order to evaluate integration and structural characteristics of the AARGM-ER. Test points were reportedly completed across a range of flight conditions to demonstrate carriage compatibility of AARGM-ER with the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
“This first flight represents a significant step in the AARGM-ER Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase,” said Capt. Mitch Commerford, who oversees the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242).
“Data collected from this testing will inform the planned build-up and overall expansion of flight testing with AARGM-ER.”
Testing will continue over the next few years in preparation for initial operational capability in fiscal year 2023, he said.
The extended range variant has been upgraded with a new rocket motor and warhead and is being integrated on the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, and will also be compatible for integration on the F-35A/B/C.