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US Army Contracts Lockheed to Produce Hellfire, JAGM Missiles

The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a $439-million contract to produce and deliver the Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) and Hellfire missile.

Lockheed will produce the missiles for the army and Australia, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, and Thailand.

The contract offers three additional follow-on awards of up to $4.5 billion over the next four years starting in late 2023.

Lockheed Anticipates Increased Demand

Lockheed anticipates a significant increase in international demand for the JAGM, while the Hellfire, integrated with over 15 platforms, has more than 30 international customers.

“Not only does this contract award support sustained production, but this is the first joint production contract award from the U.S. government for JAGM and Hellfire,” Lockheed air-to-ground missile systems program management director Joey Drake said. 

“This contract award, along with last year’s JAGM full-rate production decision, shows the army’s confidence in our product’s combat effectiveness and defensive capabilities, including its potential for longevity due to the support for increased production.”

The Defense Post earlier reported the army announcement, which didn’t specify the weapons.  

US Marines
US Marines load a joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) onto an AH-1Z Viper during an operational test at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. Photo: Cpl. Matthew Romonoyske-Bean/US Marine Corps

Air-to-Ground Missiles

The AGM-114 Hellfire is a 100-pound (45 kilograms) missile capable of striking a target from a range of up to 8 kilometers (5 miles). 

Although originally designed for rotary-wing aircraft, the missile can now be launched from air, sea, and ground platforms.

An intended replacement for several air-to-ground missiles, including the Hellfire, the JAGM is designed to take out high-value stationary and moving land and naval targets from a distance of up to 16 kilometers (10 miles).

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