Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Joint Air Ground Missile (JAGM) enters production...

via Popular Mechanics.
The U.S. military’s replacement for the Hellfire anti-tank missile has entered production, capping off years of development. The Joint Air Ground Missile (JAGM) will arm U.S. Army and Marine Corps attack helicopters, providing a weapon capable of destroying the heaviest tanks from miles away.

The JAGM replaces the AGM-114 Hellfire missile. First fielded in the early 1980s, Hellfire was designed as a heavy tank-killer to destroy Soviet tanks on the Western European battlefield. Just over five feet long, seven inches wide and weighing approximately 100 pounds, Hellfire could kill tanks at ranges of up to five miles. U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters carry up to sixteen of the missiles at a time. U.S. Marine Cobra attack helicopters also use the Hellfire to attack armored and ground targets, while U.S. Navy MH-60R “Romeo” helicopters carry the Hellfire to attack enemy ships.

The original Hellfire missile was guided to target by a laser designator, either on the helicopter or on the ground. A later version, AGM-114L, was sent to its target by a helicopter-mounted millimetric wave radar. Hellfire was used in both the 1991 Gulf War, 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan, often against non-armored targets such as groups of fighters with rifles or munitions bunkers. As a result the services developed new Hellfires with warheads better suited to destroying softer, but still dangerous targets.

JAGM combines both target designation systems into a single missile. An attack helicopter with JAGMs could launch a missile using its laser designator and then allow the missile’s millimetric wave sensor to guide itself to target the rest of the way, giving it a “fire and forget” capability. This increases the survivability of the helicopter, which might give itself away by firing and need to take evasive action.
Story here. 


Haven't been paying much attention to this program but riddle me this.  What does this bring that the Brimstone doesn't?

Could our Brit allies have been right?

Did we waste time and effort reinventing the wheel that they already have in service?

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