You're Going to Die: Meet the Army's New Air-To-Ground Missile

December 22, 2019 Topic: Technology Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Air-to-Ground MissileMissilesU.S. ArmyHelicoptersJAGM

You're Going to Die: Meet the Army's New Air-To-Ground Missile

A deadly addition.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – U.S. Army missile experts are asking Lockheed Martin Corp. to double the rate of production on the JAGM next-generation air-to-ground weapon.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., are asking the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., to increase production rates of the Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) from 50 to 100 missiles per month under terms of a $15.5 million order announced Friday.

JAGM is to replace U.S. Army and Navy inventories of Airborne TOW, Maverick, and Hellfire air-to-ground missiles. Lockheed Martin is building the JAGM for launch from the Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Navy MH-60R helicopter, and the Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter.

The Lockheed Martin JAGM has a multi-mode guidance section with semi-active laser (SAL) sensor for precision-strike and a fire-and-forget millimeter wave (MMW) radar for moving targets in all-weather conditions.

JAGM can engage several different stationary and moving targets in the bad weather, smoke and dust, and advanced countermeasures. Laser and radar guided engagement modes enable JAGM to strike accurately and reduce collateral damage, Lockheed Martin officials say.

JAGM’s targets include moving and stationary armored combat vehicles; air defense units; patrol craft; artillery; missile launchers; radar sites; command-and-control nodes; bunkers; and other structures in urban and complex terrain.

The modular and low-risk JAGM design includes the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile body and the new multi-mode seeker. The JAGM guidance section blends semi-active laser guidance and millimeter wave radar to guide the new missile to its target. Future improvements may include an uncooled infrared sensor in a new tri-mode seeker.

The U.S. Defense Acquisition Board last year approved Lockheed Martin for milestone C, which authorized the company to begin JAGM low-rate initial production (LRIP). Lockheed Martin won a $66.4 million Army contract in 2015 to develop the JAGM missile in anticipation of follow-on production contracts.

This article by John Keller originally appeared on Military & Aerospace Electronics in 2019.

Image: Reuters.