Raytheon has received a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to continue full rate production of high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) control section modification (HCSM) weapons.
The $14m Lot 2 contract follows the $12.3m award secured by the company for modification of the USAF’s existing AGM-88 HARM missiles in January 2013.
As well as the addition of GPS receiver and enhanced inertial measurement unit (IMU) for precision navigation to the existing HARM, the upgrade also integrates a digital flight computer to help the missile combine targeting solutions from navigation and seeker systems.
Raytheon Missile Systems HARM programme director Jack Roosa said HCSM upgrades to the HARM enable the improved weapon to accurately engage the specified target.
"These upgrades negate many counter tactics of sophisticated radar-directed defences and add a stand-off, high-speed strike capability against time critical targets of known location," Roosa said.
The company has partnered with Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and others for the HCSM programme, which also adds new features that degrade counter-HARM tactics, simultaneously lowering the risk of fratricide or collateral damage.
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The HACM upgrades primarily improve the missile’s probability of hit, while controlling its flight path.
Manufactured by Raytheon, the AGM-88 HARM is a tactical, air-to-surface missile designed to inhibit or destroy surface-to-air missile radars, early warning radars and radar-directed air defence artillery systems in the battlefield.
More than 4,000 HARM missiles are currently installed on a range of the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft, including the EA-6B, F-16 and F/A-18, as well as on the aircraft’s of eight international customers worldwide.
Delivery of the HCSM missiles is scheduled to take place during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Image: An AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile installed on an F/A-18C aircraft. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, by photographer’s mate 3rd class Brian Fleske.