The US Air Force (USAF) has successfully flight tested Raytheon’s upgraded high-speed anti-radiation missile (Harm) control section modification (HCSM) version from an undisclosed location.

During the flight trial, the AGM-88F HCSM was fired by an F-16 aircraft against an emitter, which was located outside of a zone of exclusion and contained a similar radiating emitter.

Using its newly added global positioning system (GPS) / inertial measurement unit (IMU) capability, the missile successfully impacted the correct target.

Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: "Raytheon’s HCSM offers the warfighter enhanced capabilities at an affordable price, providing best value for suppression of enemy air defence weapon options."

Carried out as part of an 18-month contract awarded by USAF in 2012, the HCSM upgrade is designed to improve the missile’s hit probability, while controlling its flight path.

"The HCSM upgrade is designed to improve the missile’s hit probability, while controlling its flight path."

In addition to GPS/IMU navigation systems, HCSM adds new features that allow the missile to engage a range of modern surface-to-air missiles, and reduce the risk of fratricide or collateral damage.

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By GlobalData

The upgrade integrates a digital flight computer to help the missile combine targeting capabilities from navigation and seeker systems.

The missile was cleared by USAF for full rate production in September 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 on the battlefield.

More than 4,000 Harm missiles are currently installed on a range of US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft, including the EA-6B, F-16 and F/A-18, and on the aircraft of eight other countries.

Defence Technology