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US approves anti-radar missile sale to Germany via NATO procurement agency

The estimated $122.86 million sale includes up to 91 AGM-88E air-to-surface missiles manufactured using new components and parts from Germany's existing AGM-88Bs

The U.S. State Department approved the sale to Germany of Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release published on Wednesday, July 3.

“The Government of Germany has requested to buy, through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) acting as its Agent, up to ninety-one (91) AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) Tactical Missiles, and up to eight (8) AGM-88E AARGM Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM),” said the release, which was dated June 28.

The Notification to Congress values this Major Defense Equipment portion of the proposed sale at $105.23 million.

Also included in the proposed sale as non-Major Defense Equipment and valued at $17.63 million are up to six telemetry/flight termination systems, flight data recorders, U.S. government and contractor engineering, and other support.

The total estimated cost is $122.86 million.

The proposed sale will upgrade AGM-88Bs first purchased by Germany in 1988. The AGM-88E AARGMs “will be manufactured using a mixture of new components and older sections from Germany’s existing stock of AGM-88Bs,” the release said.

Germany has requested that the NSPA act as its agent for the foreign military sales procurement, the release said. NSPA supports the AGM-88 air-to-surface missile in a range of areas including supplies, maintenance, contracting and training.

The proposed sale “will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally,” DSCA said. “It is vital to the U.S. national interests that Germany develops and maintains a strong and ready self-defense capability.”

The AGM-88E is a medium-range air-to-ground missile developed for the U.S. and Italy. Its primary role is to target enemy defenses and shut down electronics transmissions from land- or sea-based radar systems with minimal operator input, providing a countermeasure to radar directed surface-to-air missiles, and air defense artillery systems.

Orbital ATK designed the AGM-88E as an upgrade to the AGM-88 High-Speed, Anti-Radiation Missile system (HARM) developed in 1985 by Texas Instruments. It features a millimeter wave radar terminal seeker and Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System guidance.

The principal U.S. contractor will be Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, which purchased Orbital ATK in a deal that was completed in 2018. Integration efforts will be via a direct commercial sale involving the Luftwaffe, the NATO Eurofighter 2000 and Tornado Management Agency and Northrop Grumman.

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