NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Patuxent River, Md.– The Marines recently completed Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) operational testing on the AH-1Z Viper at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, demonstrating its maritime targeting capability.

The team conducted multiple live-fire events in November testing all modes of the missile against realistic operational threats.

Marine Corps aviation ordnance Marines assigned to Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) conduct operational checks on AH-1Z Viper to ensure the aircraft remains ready during the operational test and evaluation of the joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM), Nov. 4, 2021. VMX-1 fired and evaluated the JAGM to determine its suitability and effectiveness to support expeditionary advanced base operations and distributed operations, such as conducting sea denial operations within the littorals and supporting sea control operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

“The team has worked tirelessly to conduct these rigorous test events, said Capt. Alex Dutko, Direct and Times Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) program manager. The successful event today gives us confidence that we can move into full-rate production next year.”

AH-1Z pilots tested JAGM off the coast of Florida, hitting moving target boats up to seven kilometers away, using both laser and radars sensors for guidance. All of the launches were successful under planned test conditions.

Over the next few weeks, the team will conduct land-based operational testing to support JAGM’s use on the AH-1Z at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

The air-to-ground, precision-guided missile is designed with a seeker that replicates and combines capabilities of the existing Hellfire missile variants.  It combines semi-active laser guidance and millimeter-wave radar and is intended to hit vehicles and enemy combatants in the open.

“The addition of MMW capability to the seeker allows a true fire and forget capability and increased flexibility for the operator on the battlefield,” said Maj. Chuck Smith, the Marines’ H-1 department head at Pax River who supported testing.

JAGM has achieved initial operational capability on Army’s AH-64E Apache and is planned to reach this milestone on the Marines’ AH-1Z in 2022.


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