AGM-88 HARM

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

Contents

Operation

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, dual-thrust rocket motor propels the missile at speeds over Mach 2. HARM, a Navy-led program, was initially integrated onto the A-6E, A-7 and F/A-18 and later onto the EA-6B. RDT&E for use on the F-14 was begun, but not completed. The Air Force introduced HARM on the F-4G Wild Weasel and later on specialized F-16s equipped with the HARM Targeting System (HTS).

Deployment

The HARM missile was approved for full production in March 1983 and deployed in late 1985 with VA-72 and VA-46 aboard the aircraft carrier USS America. It was soon used in combat; in March 1986 against a Libyan SA-5 site in the Gulf of Sidra, and then Operation Eldorado Canyon in April. HARM was used extensively by the United States Navy and the United States Air Force for Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War of 1991.

"Magnum" is spoken over the radio to announce the launch of an AGM-88.[2] 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.[3] This technique would also be employed in Bosnia during air operations in 1999.

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