AGM-88 HARM[1]
AGM-88 HARM on F-4G.jpg
An AGM-88 loaded on an F-4 Phantom
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, 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
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 kg (783 lb)
Length4.1 m (13 ft 5 in)
Diameter254 mm (10 in)
WarheadWDU-21/B blast/fragmentation in a WAU-7/B warhead section, and later WDU-37/B blast-fragmentation warhead.
Warhead weight66 kg (146 lb)
FMU-111/B laser proximity fuze

EngineThiokol SR113-TC-1 dual-thrust rocket engine
Wingspan1.1 m (3 ft 7 in)
PropellantSolid fuel
80 nmi (150km km)[3][4]
Maximum speed 2,280 km/h (1,420 mph) (Mach 1.84)
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 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.


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-16s to detect and automatically target radar systems with HARMs instead of relying on the missile's sensors alone.


This section needs expansion with: Development history is missing and later history is thin on details. You can help by adding to it. (September 2012)


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-52G 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 (serial number 58-0248) 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 Yugoslavia during air operations in 1999.

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

The US has supplied AGM-88 HARM missiles to Ukraine. It appears that they are fired from Mig-29s. It was only disclosed after Russian forces showed footage of a tail fin from one of these missiles in early August 2022. [9] U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl has said this: "I would just point to two things. One, you know, a lot was made about the MiG-29 issue several months ago, not very much has been noticed about the sheer amount of spare parts and other things that we've done to help them actually put more of their own MiG-29s in the air and keep those that are in the air flying for a longer period of time. And then also, in recent PDA [Presidential Drawdown Authority] packages we've included a number of anti-radiation missiles that can be fired off of Ukrainian aircraft. They can have effects on on Russian radars and other things."[10] Soviet era aircraft don't have the computer architecture to accept NATO standard weapons. The interface would be difficult however with a "crude modification", such as an e-table, it would be possible.[11] None of the former Warsaw Pact countries, that have had their Soviet era aircraft undated, can fire a HARM. [12]


AGM-88E Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile (AARGM)
AGM-88E Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile (AARGM)

A newer 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16]

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).[17][18]

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.[19]

In December 2019, the German Air Force ordered the AARGM.[20] On August 4, 2020, Northrop Grumman's Alliant Techsystems Operations division, based in Northridge, California, was awarded a $12,190,753 IDIQ contract for AARGM depot sustainment support, guidance section and control section repair, and equipment box test and inspection.[21] On August 31, 2020, the same Northrop Grumman division was allocated roughly $80.9 million to develop new technology for the AARGM.[22] Neither contract was awarded in free, open competition.[citation needed]


Although the US Navy/Marine Corps chose the Orbital ATK-produced AGM-88E AARGM,[23] Raytheon developed its own update of the HARM called the AGM-88F HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM), tested in conjunction with and ultimately for the US Air Force. It incorporates similar upgrade features as the AARGM, and although it is not yet listed for export, existing HARM users have shown interest.[24]


The Navy's FY 2016 budget included funding for an extended range AARGM-ER that uses the existing guidance system and warhead of the AGM-88E with a solid integrated rocket-ramjet to double the range.[25] In September 2016, Orbital ATK unveiled its extended-range AARGM-ER, which incorporates a redesigned control section and 11.5 in diameter (290 mm) rocket motor for twice the range and internal carriage on the Lockheed Martin F-35A and F-35C Lightning II;[26] internal carriage on the F-35B is not possible due to internal space limitations. The new missile utilizes the AARGM's warhead and guidance systems in a new airframe that replaces the mid-body wings with aerodynamic strakes along the sides with control surfaces relocated to low-drag tail surfaces and a more powerful propulsion system for greater speed and range.[27][28] It reportedly doubles the range and speed of the AGM-88E which would result in the AGM-88G's range being around 300 km and speed of Mach 4 respectively.[29] The U.S. Navy awarded Orbital ATK a contract for AARGM-ER development in January 2018.[30] The USAF later joined the AARGM-ER program, involved in internal F-35A/F-35C integration work,[27] and selected the AARGM-ER to serve as the basis for their land-attack Stand in Attack Weapon (SiAW).[29] The AARGM-ER received Milestone-C approval in August 2021,[31] and the first low-rate initial production contract was awarded the next month; initial operational capability is planned for 2023.[32] In January 2022, the AARGM-ER completed its second flight test at the Point Mugu Sea Range.[33]


Map with AGM-88 operators in blue
Map with AGM-88 operators in blue
F-16 carrying an AIM-120 AMRAAM (top), AIM-9 Sidewinder (middle) and AGM-88 HARM
F-16 carrying an AIM-120 AMRAAM (top), AIM-9 Sidewinder (middle) and AGM-88 HARM

Current operators

See also


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  3. ^ "Raytheon AGM-88 HARM".
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