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HARM Missile - Targeting Radars

Special weapon homes in on enemy radar transmissions and other communications.


HARM Missile - Targeting Radars
Updated June 06, 2011

The HARM missile specializes in destroying enemy radars and other communications.

Targeting Electronic Transmissions

The AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) was developed by Texas Instrument in the early 1980s. The missiles have been in service with the U.S. military since 1985. The weapon is now manufactured by Raytheon Corporation following that company’s takeover of Texas Instrument’s defense business. Each HARM missile costs about $300,000 to purchase and weighs nearly 800 pounds.

HARM missiles are tactical, air-to-surface missiles that are designed to target electronic transmissions – particularly those coming from radar systems. Each missile is capable of detecting, attacking and destroying a radar antenna or radar transmitter with very little direction from an accompanying aircrew. The missile’s nose contains an advanced antenna that picks-up radar transmissions and targets them with great efficiency. The HARM missile is used to knock out enemy radar systems and leave them disadvantaged in combat.

Speeds of Mach Two

Typically, HARM missiles are used on F/A-18 fighter jets and on A-6E and A-7 attack aircraft. There are plans underway to equip the missiles onto F-14 and F-16 fighter jets. Each HARM missile is capable of traveling at speeds of Mach Two once fired from an aircraft. The weapon was used extensively by the U.S. military in the 1991 Gulf War and continues to be used in trouble spots around the world. The U.S. military last updated the HARM missiles in 2010 – providing them with new software and tracking capabilities.   

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