AGM-88 HARM

The AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) is an air-to-surface tactical missile designed to home in on electronic transmissions associated with surface-to-air missile radar systems. The missile was originally developed by Texas Instruments as a replacement for the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-78 Standard ARM system. The AGM-88 is in service with the US Navy and Air Force.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 nose of the missile. A smokeless, solid-propellant, dual-thrust rocket motor propels the missile at speeds up to Mach 2. HARM, a Navy-led program, was integrated onto the A-6E, A-7 and F/A-18 initially and later onto the EA-6B. The Air Force introduced HARM onboard the F-4G Wild Weasel and later on specialized F-16 aircraft equipped with the HARM Targeting System.The HARM missile was approved for full production in March 1983 and deployed in late 1985. The newest upgrade is the AGM-88E Advanced Anti Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The AARGM will feature the latest software and enhanced capabilities, intended to counter radar shutdown.

AGM-88 HARM
Class Missile
Type Air to Surface
Manufacturer Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1984
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany View
Greece View
Italy View
South Korea View
Spain View
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) View
United States of America 1984 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake 1972 View
Texas Instruments View
Texas Instruments View
Raytheon Missile Systems View

The HARM missile was approved for full production in March 1983, and then deployed in late 1985 with VA-72 and 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 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.

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-52 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 was subsequently renamed In HARM's Way.

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

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

General Information
Developed by USA
Deployed by Germany, Greece, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, USA
Development Year 1972
Deployment Year 1984
Platform (US Navy) EA-6B, F/A-18, A-7E, A-6E, F-14 (US Air Force) F-4G Wild Weasel, F-16C/D
Number manufactured 21,012 (USN:9,742, USAF:9,865, export:1,405)
Contractor US Naval Air Systems Command, Texas Instruments (system integrator), Raytheon Co., Raytheon Systems Co., Defense Systems Div.

Dimensions and Performance
Length 4.14m
Body Diameter 25.4cm
Wing/Fin span 1.13m
Launch Weight 363kg
Range 125km
Speed Mach 2+

Components
Propulsion solid propellant
Engine Thiokol and Hercules T/YSR-113-TC-1 dual-thrust low smoke solid rocket motor
Warhead 66.4kg HE fragmentation effect
Guidance strapdown inertial, anti-radar homing

End notes