US Navy tests air-to-ground missile

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The US Navy successfully completed its first Joint Air-to-Ground Missile flight test on the Bell AH-1Z helicopter last month.

During the flight, which took place at Patuxent River, Maryland, aircrew aboard the AH-1Z navigated the missile through various operational modes and exercised its active seeker to search and/or acquire targets, demonstrating its compatibility with the aircraft.

Liam Cosgrove, Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) flight test lead, said, “Initial results from the flight indicate the missile performed as planned. We will continue to conduct a series of tests to prepare for live fire testing of the JAGM off the AH-1Z scheduled for early this year.”

JAGM, a joint program with the US Army, is a precision-guided munition for use against high value stationary, moving, and relocatable land and maritime targets. It uses a multi-mode seeker to provide targeting day or night in adverse weather, battlefield obscured conditions, and against a variety of countermeasures.

“This missile will provide increased lethality and better targeting capabilities, beyond the Hellfire’s laser point designating capability that the AH-1Z currently has in theater today,” said Captain Mitch Commerford, manager for the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) program.

JAGM is managed by the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. It will initially be employed on the AH-64 Apache and Marine Corps’ AH-1Z helicopters and is compatible with any aircraft that can carry Hellfire missiles. The Army will complete a 48-shot test matrix on AH-64 Apache aircraft by May 2018.

January 22, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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