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Lockheed’s Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile Enters Full-Rate Production

Lockheed Martin has announced that its Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) has been given the green light to enter full-rate production.

The decision was revealed amid a controversial delay due to the weapon system failing to achieve desired lethal effects on maritime targets.

According to the company, the decision by the US Army and the US Navy to move forward with the JAGM program reflects the weapon’s maturation and the military’s confidence in the system.

The aerospace giant will now produce the JAGM system in higher quantities without restrictions.

Lockheed said the missile has completed operational testing on AH-64E Apache and AH-1Z Viper helicopters.

“JAGM has repeatedly proven that it can be counted on when it matters most, providing mission-focused offensive and defense capabilities and maintaining a competitive edge against any potential adversaries,” Lockheed Martin vice president Jerry Brode explained.

“The program’s full rate production milestone speaks volumes to how JAGM’s precision and combat effectiveness continues to provide 21st Century Solutions in an ever-evolving threat environment.”

Previous Issues

In 2018, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation discovered several serious issues after testing the JAGM system.

It discovered that the missile was “cyber vulnerable” after a cyber analyst successfully gained access to the weapon’s guidance software.

Additionally, the JAGM missed two targets during previous trials — one hitting the ground “well outside the burst radius” of the warhead.

When launched from an AH-64E Apache helicopter, the missile failed to detonate with a live warhead.

The issues caused the army to delay the fielding by over a year.

‘Maintain Competitive Advantage’

A replacement for HELLFIRE missiles, the JAGM is a multi-sensor missile providing improved air-to-ground missile capability for rotary wing aircraft and unmanned aerial systems.

Its precision-guided munition can be used against high-value stationary, moving, and relocatable land and naval targets.

Lockheed Martin explained that the missile system combines its dual-mode seeker with the combat-proven HELLFIRE missile bus for “next-generation” precision.

“JAGM’s advanced capabilities and increased commonality positions its users to maintain a competitive advantage over the threats of today and tomorrow,” company official Joey Drake stated.

Lockheed is working to increase the range of the JAGM system from eight kilometers (5 miles) to 16 kilometers (10 miles) for the medium-range variant.

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