Thank goodness for the Pentagon’s DOT&E (Director, Operational Testing & Evaluation) group! The Navy is pushing ahead, hard, with the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) which is a replacement for the AGM-88B/C High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). However, in their zeal to field the missile they are glossing over or ignoring serious performance issues although you wouldn’t know it from the speed with which they’re moving ahead with the program.
DOT&E, on the other hand, has found the AARGM Block 1 to be “not operationally suitable”. Here’s some specifics, quoted from the DOT&E 2017 Annual Report.
· The Navy evaluated the current version of Block 1 software for only 24.0 hours of the 234.09 hour test.
· AARGM Block 1 software demonstrated improved capabilities over the previous Block 0 software version but also demonstrated effectiveness shortfalls in key capabilities of reliability and accuracy.
· Of the eight live fire events, six were successful engagements and two were unsuccessful because the missiles did not impact anything of tactical significance. The analysis of the two unsuccessful events revealed classified deficiencies. … - The Program Office made adjustments to correct the problems but did not verify the effectiveness of the corrections with additional live fire events before fielding Block 1.
· AARGM Block 1 demonstrated a slight decline in reliability compared to Block 0, which failed to satisfy reliability requirements during IOT&E
· The Navy attempted to streamline the AARGM Block 1 FOT&E test design by conducting developmental and operational testing simultaneously … - This is the same concurrency that has plagued every other Navy/Military program. Why won’t they learn? How stupid are they?
· Cybersecurity testing was inadequate to assess AARGM survivability against cyber-attacks.
There’s more but you get the picture.
|Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile|
Now, here’s the damning statement (as if what you just read wasn’t damning enough!).
“The Navy released Block 1 software in July 2017 without completing operational testing and without adequately addressing performance and software stability problems discovered during Block 1 testing.”
There you have it. The Navy has put untested software out in the field with known problems. They just don’t care. People are going to die using this weapon and the Navy just doesn’t care.