- The primary unanswered question in this situation was whether the AGM-88 HARM, an air-to-ground missile [AGM] as its name implies, could be fired from an aerial platform, such as an aircraft.
- The missile is launched to a predefined location and uses its own homing head to search for the target's radar.
There have been noteworthy developments in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine since February 2022. The use of AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles by Ukraine against Russian air defence components has come to light in recent weeks. It is verified that these missiles were installed in Ukrainian MiG-29 aircraft.
Actually, the AGM-88 HARM is an anti-radiation missile produced in the US. It is chosen for the demolition of electronic warfare systems, radar installations, command and control centres, and anti-aircraft missile systems. It has a passive radar homing mechanism, like many anti-radiation missiles. In other words, radio signals from the target are used to direct the missile.
Some Russian social media accounts posted a picture of the AGM-88 HARM missile’s components on August 7, 2022. The alleged debris came from a HARM that was supposed to target Russian equipment. This time, pictures of the HARM missile’s debris were shared on August 11. The disputed remains, which are located in Kherson Oblast, are thought to be HARM’s.
AGM-88 HARM into MiG-29
The primary unanswered question in this situation was whether the AGM-88 HARM, an air-to-ground missile [AGM] as its name implies, could be fired from an aerial platform, such as an aircraft. The missile is used in typical NATO aircraft like the F-16 because it is made in the US.
The MiG-29 and Su-25 are two examples of the Soviet-era aircraft that Ukraine is currently operating. Since Ukraine doesn’t own any Western aircraft, it would have to either steal Western aircraft to launch such a missile from, or modify the missile to be used by Soviet-built aircraft like the MiG-29.
The Pentagon unveiled a fresh package of military assistance for Ukraine on August 19, 2022. The inclusion of HARM missiles in the aforementioned package raised the probability that HARM was incorporated into the MiG-29.
So how do MiG-29s use HARM?
The HTS for HARM navigation system is used by US F-16s. The missile can be pointed at targets that the HTS has found. As a result, the HARM missile is fired in HAS mode, which makes use of its own seeker as a sensor. Systems can be targeted if they are found by the HARM search head. The detection range in HAS mode is significantly decreased because there is no HTS.
A fly-and-shoot mode with a pre-set POS name is also available in HARM. The AGM-88’s earlier iterations only had an inertial navigation system. The missile is launched to a predefined location and uses its own homing head to search for the target’s radar. However, GPS is also available and can be used to directly target the precisely defined coordinate in the AGM-88D model.
We presume that HARM missiles are also used in POS mode by Ukrainian MiG-29 aircraft.