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Lockheed Considering Reconfiguring JAGM for Air Defense 

Lockheed Martin is considering whether the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile could be reconfigured for Mobile Short Range Air Defense, Defense News reported, citing a company executive.

The JAGM was developed to replace several air-to-ground missiles, including the AGM-114 Hellfire.

Missile Applicable to Multiple Platforms

A low-rate initial production contract for the missile was approved in 2018. However, unsatisfactory results during trials delayed its fielding by the US Marines and the army. 

The missile finally achieved Initial Operational Capability with a marine Viper helicopter in March, paving the way for its operational deployment. A decision on the missile’s full-rate production is expected this year.

The outlet quoted Lockheed vice president Rita Flahty as saying the missile “will have applicability to a number of platforms,” including “ground-launched capability… an anti-armor capability, a [Maneuver-SHORAD] capability.”

US Marines
US Marines with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) load a joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) onto an AH-1Z Viper during an operational test at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Dec. 6, 2021. Image: Cpl. Matthew Romonoyske-Bean/ US Marine Corps

Mobile Short Range Air Defense

The US Army began deploying the Mobile Short Range Air Defense or M-SHORAD last year to bolster defenses against manned and unmanned aerial attacks. The vehicle replaced the Avenger Air Defense System inducted in 1989.

The platform “integrates existing guns, missiles, rockets and sensors onto a Stryker A1 vehicle.”

Doubling Missile Range

Lockheed Martin is also working to double the missile’s range to 16 kilometers (10 miles), without changing its exterior and weight, Defense News reported, citing Flahty.

She added in response to a recent army request for information to replace the Stinger missile that “JAGM could be a great capability to offer in that evaluation.”

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