Northrop successfully tested an A2/AD missile for joint attack weapon

LOS ANGELES – The US company Northrop Grumman Corporation announced on December 21 that it has successfully conducted tests of its new anti-access / denial area [A2/AD] missile, has learned. This was the second flight of the rocket, the company announced, which was performed by a company aircraft CRJ-700. The A2/AD missile is part of the upcoming Stand-in Attack Weapon [SiAW] program of the United States.

Northrop successfully tested an A2/AD missile for joint attack weapon
Photo credit: Northrop Grumman

The test was carried out on an air-to-ground mission, the company said. During the second flight, the missile successfully interacted with computer commands to complete the mission. Various sensor systems combined with the mission computer have also been successfully tested. The company states that in 2022 they will continue with the tests and guarantee that they have funding for additional developments and tests.

The A2/AD rocket has an open infrastructure, which will allow in the future to make upgrades and easier updates to the interface. According to Northrop Grumman, their missile fully meets the new government requirements for the production of weapon systems that can be easily adapted to changing environments and missions.

“Like a missile prime, we play a vital role in pioneering the most innovative solutions that increase survivability and lethality against new and emerging adversary threats,” said Mary Petryszyn, president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems. “Our lean-forward approach enables us to innovate at rapid speeds while reducing costs for our customers.”

An area denial weapon or anti-access/area denial [A2/AD] weapon system is a defensive device or strategy used to prevent an adversary from occupying or traversing an area of ​​land, sea, or air. The specific method used does not have to be effective in preventing passage [and sometimes is not] as long as it is sufficient to severely restrict, slow down, or endanger the opponent. Some area denial weapons pose long-lasting risks to anyone entering the area, specifically to civilians, and thus are often controversial.

“We have taken significant steps to mature our missile design, providing capabilities for the U.S. Air Force SiAW program and other programs,” said Dan Olson, vice president, and general manager, weapon systems, Northrop Grumman.

The SiAW program seeks to develop an anti-access / denial area [A2/AD] air-to-surface capability based on the developmental Northrop Grumman AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range [AARGM-ER] program. But SiAW will have a broader target set than the anti-radiation AARGM-ER, and will reportedly employ an active radar homing guidance system, different warhead and fusing, and a universal armament interface [UAI].

It is the experience in the success and failure of the development of the Navy’s AARGM-ER that is recognized as an advantage by Northrop Grumman in the development of their new A2/AD missile. According to them, the future missile will be able to be integrated into various combat aircraft, not only in the most likely used for this purpose F-35 fighter jet.


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