Alliant Techsystems Inc.
) announced that it has delivered the 100th Advanced
Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) to the U.S. Navy. With this
delivery, this missile reached its full operational capability.
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Alliant has developed AARGM jointly with other international
players. The missile is the upgraded version of the AGM-88
High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), used by the U.S. Navy.
The AARGM is a medium range air-to-ground missile. The missile is
417 centimeter long with diameter of 25.4 centimeter and weight
of 361 kilogram. The AARGM has a wingspan of 112 centimeter.
In 2003, Alliant received a contract worth $223 million from the
U.S. Navy to develop the AARGM. In 2005, the U.S. Department of
Defense entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Italian
Ministry of Defense to jointly develop the AARGM.
The AARGM employs advanced technology, including a millimeter
wave terminal seeker, advanced anti-radiation homing receiver and
a global positioning system/inertial navigation system.
The main role of the AARGM is to target enemy air defenses. The
missile can destroy enemy air defenses and time-critical mobile
The AARGM is currently used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps
and Italian Air Force at their FA-18C/D Hornet aircraft, FA-18
E/F Super Hornet aircraft, EA-18G Growler and Tornado ECR
aircraft. The missile can also be used with F-35 and EA-6B.
The flexible and compatible missile can be used in different
fighter jets, thus facilitating the U.S. Navy to deploy it in
different missions and subsequently increasing demand for the
missile. On Sep 2012, Alliant received a $71 million contract
from the U.S. Navy to start a full rate production of the AARGM.
Despite constant pressure on the defense companies due to the
U.S. defense budget cuts, Alliant has been able to beat the
estimates post favorable performance in the past few quarters.
The company has surpassed the estimates in the last couple of
quarters driven by new contracts from the U.S. defense
departments and private organizations.
Alliant currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks
from the industry that are also presently performing well include
Elbit Systems Ltd.
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and
B/E Aerospace Inc.
), each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).