The U.S. Army has ordered Joint-Air-to-Ground tank killer missiles from Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 16 August.
The contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $26,4 million is provided procurement of new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM).
Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2020.
JAGM is a multi-sensor air-to-ground missile that is the successor to the combat-proven HELLFIRE Romeo and HELLFIRE Longbow missiles.
The JAGM combines the capabilities of the HELLFIRE IIand Longbow HELLFIRE missiles into a single missile. The major contractor combined two sensor technologies –semi-active laser (SAL) and millimeter wave (MMW)radar – into a single seeker and guidance system and mated it to the HELLFIRE Romeo warhead, motor, and flight control systems.
The dual seeker, in addition to providing independent SAL and MMW targeting, offers two combined modes using both the laser and MMW seekers to maintain desired performance in degraded environments and against threat countermeasures.
The JAGM system hardware that demonstrated over 95 percent reliability in flight testing is built on the active HELLFIRE missile family production line by the same team that has produced over 75,000 missiles with a fielded reliability exceeding 97 percent.
According to the Defense News, the U.S. Army plans to spend a total of $1.6 billion to procure roughly 6,741 JAGM missiles across a five-year period from fiscal 2019 and 2023, according to FY19 Army budget request justification documents.
The Army will first field JAGM to Apaches helicopters. Development of Apache software to recognize the JAGMmissile and enable all its operational modes is underway with an early version to be available just before Milestone C. Until that software is available, Apache aircrews must launch the JAGM missile using non-standard procedures and an engineering test page in the cockpit.
The Army’s total acquisition objective is to buy 20,303 missiles over the course of the program.