The US Air Force (USAF) has taken delivery of the first batch of high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) control section modification (HCSM) upgrade units from Raytheon.
The upgrade also integrates a digital flight computer to help the missile combine targeting solutions from navigation and seeker systems, in addition to the GPS receiver and enhanced inertial measurement unit (IMU) for precision navigation to the existing HARM.
Executed in collaboration with Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and others, the programme also adds new features that degrade counter-HARM tactics, simultaneously lowering the risk of fratricide or collateral damage.
The enhancements are claimed to improve the probability of hit, while controlling where the missile can and cannot fly, and negating multiple counter tactics of sophisticated radar-directed defences.
Raytheon Missile Systems HARM programme director Jack Roosa said the HCSM is designed to augment mission effectiveness and also significantly reduce the risk of collateral damage.
"The HCSM upgrade to the previously fielded HARM inventory adds GPS and improves inertial navigation system capability at a substantial savings compared to other weapons with similar capability," Roosa said.
Raytheon received a $14m contract from USAF in September 2013 to continue full rate production of HCSM weapons, for planned delivery in the fourth quarter of 2013.
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, and on the aircrafts of eight international customers worldwide.
Image: An AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile mounted on an F/A-18C aircraft. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, by photographer's mate third class Brian Fleske.