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.
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.
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.