A deadly-effective supersonic missile, designed to take out enemy air defenses, is getting a major upgrade to make it even more lethal than before. I have an article in this month's Defense Technology International about it.
Soon after radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles became a threat, planners realized that the simplest way to stop them was to take out the radar. These radars make an easy target; in radio terms, they are equivalent to lighthouses, radiating brightly. So in 1958 the U.S. introduced the Shrike, an "Anti-Radiation Missile" that homed in on enemy radar and proved invaluable in the Vietnam War. The modern successor is the AGM-88 HARM High Speed Antiradiation missile, which has longer range and a speed of over mach 2. "No U.S. aircraft has ever been lost to surface-to-air missiles when HARM has been flying cover," Mike Vigue, HARM Growth Manager at Raytheon, told me.
The problem with this type of missile is that it relies on the enemy radar being turned on. Once they spot a missile barreling towards them, the operators can turn off the radar so it has nothing to home in on. So the mission is known as Suppression of Enemy Air Defense or SEAD: you're not likely to kill them, but you can force enemy radar to shut down, making the skies safe for friendly aircraft.
All that changes when you can fit HARM with a GPS module that allows it to accurately pinpoint the location of the radar emitter. The addition means that even if the radar turns off, the missile can still hit it precisely....LOL!Israel And Iran Scramble In The Shadows....but Putin sells the S300s to IRAN... Israel objects for show....because Putin always sells Arabs/Iran "sophisticated air defense systems", then turns around and gives MOSSAD all the necessary "Codes" and electronic tags...which will ensure that the system will not protect any country in times of war and invasions by Israeli Air Force, which will have at its disposal all the countermeasures to block these systems dead in its tracks. Latest case in point, the attack on Syria's facility in Dair Al-Zour, and I am sure that Putin has done the same with Iranian air defense systems bought from Russia....It's a kind of a Kremlin Insurance Policy made by AIG/CIA....
For the USA to survive in one piece, the challenges are enormous to say the least, and likely insurmountable. Between its rising domestic woes and its overextension on the foreign policy front from DC/ PNAC to Iraq to Afghanistan, the Americans cannot continue to press ahead with their global ambitions for long without resolving their chronic status as international pariah. Before that reckoning becomes reality for the power behind the power in USA, the sliding economy is bound to affect the outcome of the presidential term completely, as of January 20th 2009, until January 20th 2012....since the PNAC KILLERS are broke, greedy and immoral. Barack Hussein Obama and his buddy Rahm Emanuel.... Chicago's paid thugs are toast, http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=83851 thus the power behind the power, and the USA's White House Murder Inc. are in quiet disbelief at their loss of wherewithal, but will attempt more murderous, savage assassinations to advance their goal of domineering the world again, but will eventually fail miserably. " Case in point, the Mumbai attacks and the Benazir Buttho assassination....made in PNAC, CIA2/MOSSAD Evil Axis....
Raytheon's upgrade is called HDAM, for HARM Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses Attack Module. It's being built for the Air Force. And it incorporates both GPS and an inertial measurement unit with a fiber-optic gyro. Raytheon won’t say exactly how accurate it is, but unlike other anti-radiation missiles which rely on a shrapnel warhead, HDAM has achieved "metal on metal" hits on radar targets, both emitting and non-emitting.
The Navy, meanwhile, has ordered the AGM-88E HARM , otherwise known as the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM), from Alliant Techsystems. This includes GPS guidance like HDAM, as well as a range of other features.
Both weapons give a new capability, and rather than Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, they're now being described as being for Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses – DEAD.
And they can target more than radar. The GPS guidance also means that the upgraded missiles can be programmed to hit a precision target from sixty miles away, making HARM the only high-speed air-to-surface weapon in the inventory. This gives it obvious utility against fleeting, time-critical targets.
The Navy are spending over a billion dollars on acquiring 1,750 missiles. The HDAM is cheaper at "much less" than $100k a missile, but the Air Force may be able to get their upgrades without spending a dime. This is because Raytheon has a "replacement exchange in kind" deal under which the company takes obsolete missiles (such as old stockpiled Sidewinder, Maverick or HARM missiles) and refurbishes them for foreign customers - and gives the Air Force credit to purchase other Raytheon products like the HARM upgrades.