Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system has successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board review and achieved milestone C. This enables the missile system to enter into low-rate initial production (LRIP). The JAGM system is a multiple-sensor air-to-ground missile meant to succeed the HELLFIRE Romeo and HELLFIRE Longbow missile systems.
The JAGM system is backward compatible with all rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft capable of launching the HELLFIRE family of missiles. It features a multiple-mode guidance system for enhanced performance in the field. The guidance system combines laser and millimeter-wave-radar sensors for precision strike and fire-and-forget capability against moving and stationary targets, both on land and at sea.
The milestone C decision is a result of extensive flight testing (see figure). Those tests revealed that the system is reliable and combat-ready to provide high levels of performance even under adverse environmental conditions. The JAGM system hardware, with 95% reliability for in-flight testing, is built on the active HELLFIRE missile family production line by the same team that has produced more than 75,000 missiles with a fielded reliability exceeding 97%.
Work on the JAGM system stems from a 24-month contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the JAGM program from the U.S. Army and Navy. This contract included JAGM production, test qualification, and integration on the AH-64E Apache and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. The EMD phase also established an initial low-rate manufacturing capability in support of three follow-on LRIP options, with U.S. Army Initial Operational Capability expected in early 2019.