The U.S. Navy has tapped Northrop Grumman to explore the feasibility of firing a guided air-launched missile from a ground-based launcher and integrating the weapon system onto the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, The Drive reported Friday.
Northrop is expected to demonstrate a ground-based variant of the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range “in the next several months,” according to U.S. Navy Capt. Alex Dutko, program manager for Naval Air Systems Command’s Direct and Time Sensitive Strike office.
Dutko said that the Navy has awarded Northrop a contract using the service branch’s fiscal year 2022 funds to evaluate surface-launch options for the AARGM-ER weapon system.
The Navy is planning to add the weapon system to the P-8A Poseidon’s arsenal.
“The P-8 integration is also a study that we’re working to get on contract – actually, I think we are on contract now with that, as well,” Dutko said.
In mid-December, Northrop and the Navy conducted the fourth flight test of AARGM-ER at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of California, where it demonstrated its capability to engage a moving maritime target.