The AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-radiation Missile) is a tactical, air-to-surface anti-radiation missile designed to home in on electronic transmissions coming from surface-to-air radar systems. It was originally developed by Texas Instruments as a replacement for the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-78 Standard ARM system. Production was later taken over by Raytheon Corporation when it purchased the defense production business of Texas Instruments.

AGM-88 HARM[1]
An AGM-88 HARM missile loaded aboard an F/A-18C
TypeAir-to-surface antiradiation missile
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1985–present
Used byU.S. and others
WarsGulf War, Kosovo War, Iraq War, 2011 military intervention in Libya
Production history
DesignerTexas Instruments
ManufacturerTexas Instruments, then Raytheon Corporation (AGM-88)
Orbital ATK and Northrop Grumman (AGM-88E)
Unit costUS$284,000
US$870,000 for AGM-88E[2]
Mass355 kilograms (783 lb)
Length4.1 metres (13 ft)
Diameter254 millimetres (10.0 in)
WarheadWDU-21/B blast/fragmentation in a WAU-7/B warhead section, and later WDU-37/B blast-fragmentation warhead.
Warhead weight66 kilograms (146 lb)
FMU-111/B laser proximity fuze

EngineThiokol SR113-TC-1 dual-thrust rocket engine
Wingspan1.1 metres (3.6 ft)
PropellantSolid fuel
150 kilometres; 92 miles (80 nmi)[3]
Speed2,280 km/h (1,420 mph)
Passive radar homing with home-on-jam, GPS/INS and millimeter-wave active radar homing in the E variant.[4] 500-20,000 MHz for AGM-88C
F-4G, EA-6B, F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, EA-18G, Tornado IDS/ECR, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35[Not internally], and others


The AGM-88 can detect, attack and destroy a radar antenna or transmitter with minimal aircrew input. The proportional guidance system that homes in on enemy radar emissions has a fixed antenna and seeker head in the missile's nose. A smokeless, solid-propellant, booster-sustainer rocket motor propels the missile at speeds over Mach 2.0. The HARM missile was a program led by the U.S. Navy, and it was first carried by the A-6E, A-7, and F/A-18A/B aircraft, and then it equipped the EA-6B aircraft. RDT&E for use on the F-14 aircraft was begun, but not completed. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) put the HARM onto the F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft, and later on specialized F-16s equipped with the HARM Targeting System (HTS). The HTS pod, used by the USAF, only, allows F-16 to detect and automatically target radars with HARMs instead of relying on the missile's sensors alone.



The HARM missile was approved for full production in March 1983, obtained initial operating capability (IOC) on the A-7E Corsair II in late 1983 and then deployed in late 1985 with VA-46 aboard the aircraft carrier USS America. In 1986, the first successful firing of the HARM from an EA-6B was performed by VAQ-131. It was soon used in combat—in March 1986 against a Libyan SA-5 site in the Gulf of Sidra, and then during Operation Eldorado Canyon in April. HARM was used extensively by the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force in Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

During the Gulf War, the HARM was involved in a friendly fire incident when the pilot of an F-4G Wild Weasel escorting a B-52 bomber mistook the latter's tail gun radar for an Iraqi AAA site. (This was after the tail gunner of the B-52 had targeted the F-4G, mistaking it for an Iraqi MiG.) The F-4 pilot launched the missile and then saw that the target was the B-52, which was hit. It survived with shrapnel damage to the tail and no casualties. The B-52 was subsequently renamed In HARM's Way.[5]

"Magnum" is spoken over the radio to announce the launch of an AGM-88.[6] During the Gulf War, if an aircraft was illuminated by enemy radar a bogus "Magnum" call on the radio was often enough to convince the operators to power down.[7] This technique would also be employed in Serbia during air operations in 1999.

In 2013 President Obama offered the AGM-88 to Israel for the first time.[8]


The newest upgrade, the AGM-88E Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile (AARGM), features the latest software, enhanced capabilities intended to counter enemy radar shutdown, and passive radar using an additional active millimeter-wave seeker. It was released in November 2010, and it is a joint venture by the US Department of Defense and the Italian Ministry of Defense, produced by Orbital ATK.

In November 2005, the Italian Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Department of Defense signed a Memorandum of Agreement on the joint development of the AGM-88E AARGM missile. Italy was providing $20 million of developmental funding as well as several million dollars worth of material, equipment, and related services. The Italian Air Force was expected to buy up to 250 missiles for its Tornado ECR aircraft. A flight test program was set to integrate the AARGM onto Tornado ECR's weapon system.

The U.S. Navy demonstrated the AARGM's capability during Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in spring 2012 with live firing of 12 missiles. Aircrew and maintenance training with live missiles was completed in June.[9]

The Navy authorized Full-Rate Production (FRP) of the AARGM in August 2012, with 72 missiles for the Navy and nine for the Italian Air Force to be delivered in 2013. A U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet squadron will be the first forward-deployed unit with the AGM-88E.[10]

In September 2013, ATK delivered the 100th AARGM to the U.S. Navy. The AGM-88E program is on schedule and on budget, with Full Operational Capability (FOC) planned for September 2014.[11] The AGM-88E was designed to improve the effectiveness of legacy HARM variants against fixed and relocatable radar and communications sites, particularly those that would shut down to throw off anti-radiation missiles, by attaching a new seeker to the existing Mach 2-capable rocket motor and warhead section, adding a passive anti-radiation homing receiver, satellite and inertial navigation system, a millimeter-wave radar for terminal guidance, and the ability to beam up images of the target via a satellite link just seconds before impact.[12]

This model of the HARM will be integrated onto the F/A-18C/D, F/A-18E/F, EA-18G, and Tornado ECR aircraft, and later on the F-35 (externally).[13][14]

In September 2015, the AGM-88E successfully hit a mobile ship target in a live-fire test, demonstrating the missile's ability to use antiradiation homing and millimeter-wave radar to detect, identify, locate, and engage moving targets.[15]


Although the US Navy/Marine Corps chose the Orbital ATK-produced AGM-88E AARGM[16], Raytheon developed its own update of the HARM called the AGM-88F HCSM (HARM Control Section Modification), tested in conjunction with and ultimately for the US Air Force. It incorporates similar upgrade features to the AARGM, and although it is not yet listed for export, existing HARM users have shown interest.[17]


The Navy's FY 2016 budget included funding for an extended range AARGM-ER that utilizes the existing guidance system and warhead of the AGM-88E with a solid integrated rocket-ramjet for double the range. Development funding will last to 2020.[18] In September 2016, Orbital ATK unveiled its extended-range AARGM-ER, which incorporates a redesigned control section and 11.5 in (290 mm)-diameter rocket motor for twice the range and internal carriage on the Lockheed Martin F-35A and F-35C Lightning II.[19] Internal carriage on the F-35B isn't possible due to internal space limitations.[20] The U.S. Navy awarded Orbital ATK an contract for AARGM-ER development in January 2018.[21] The USAF has formally joined the AARGM-ER program, and is involved in internal F-35A/F-35C integration work.[20]

The AARGM-ER would serve as the basis for the land-attack Stand In Attack Weapon (SiAW).[22]


Current operators

See also


  1. "AGM-88 HARM (high-speed antiradiation missile) - Smart Weapons". Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  2. "AGM-88E AARGM". Archived from the original on 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  3. Communications, Raytheon Corporate. "Raytheon: Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD)". Archived from the original on 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  4. AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile | NAVAIR - U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command - Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Research, Development, Acquisition, Test and Eva... Archived April 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. Lake, Jon (2004). B-52 Stratofortress Units in Operation Desert Storm (1 ed.). Oxford: Osprey. pp. 47–48. ISBN 1-84176-751-4.
  6. "Operational Brevity Words And Terminology". Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  7. Lambeth, Benjamin (2000). The Transformation of American Air Power. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8014-3816-5.
  8. "Israel seeks $5B in U.S. loans to buy arms". Archived from the original on 2013-07-07. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  9. "Navy approves full rate production for new anti-radiation missile". Naval Air Systems Command. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  10. Navy Approves Full Rate Production for New Anti-Radiation Missile Archived April 30, 2014, at the Wayback Machine -, August 30, 2012
  11. ATK Delivers 100th Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) to U.S. Navy Archived 2014-04-30 at the Wayback Machine -, 17 September 2013
  12. US Navy extends Orbital ATK AGM-88E production Archived 2016-04-07 at the Wayback Machine -, 25 March 2016
  13. "ATK Awarded $55 Million Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Low Rate Initial Production..." Reuters. 2009-01-21. Archived from the original on 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  14. "U.S. Navy Wants Internal AARGM For F-35", April 8 2015
  15. U.S. Navy tests upgraded missile Archived 2015-09-25 at the Wayback Machine -, 23 September 2015
  16. Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) - Standard and Extended Range
  17. Raytheon’s HCSM anti-radiation missile upgrade completes key test Archived 2016-04-13 at the Wayback Machine -, 26 October 2015
  18. F-35Cs Cut Back As U.S. Navy Invests In Standoff Weapons Archived 2015-02-05 at the Wayback Machine -, 3 February 2015
  19. "Orbital ATK Reveals New 'Double-Range' AARGM". Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  20. USAF F-35As Will Get Navy's New Air Defense Busting Missile Amid Talk Of Anti-Ship Variants, May 7 2019
  21. Orbital ATK gets U.S. Navy Contract to Develop AARGM-ER Archived 2018-01-27 at the Wayback Machine -, 24 January 2018
  22. "Air Force To Turn Navy Air Defense Busting Missile Into High-Speed Critical Strike Weapon". theDrive. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  23. "AGM-88E AARGM Missile: No Place To Hide Down There". Defense Industry Daily. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  24. "US approves sale of anti-radiation missiles for RAAF Growler". Australian Aviation. 1 May 2017. Archived from the original on 1 May 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  25. "Spain buying HARMs for use on EF-18". Defense Daily. 25 May 1990. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015 via HighBeam Research.
  26. "Morocco – Weapons and Related Support for F-16 Aircraft". Defense Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  27. "Harpoon Databases: AGM-88 HARM". Harpoon Da tabases. Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
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