The Army last week achieved a number of firsts in the Joint Air to Ground Missile (JAGM) program, including first full flight test, first aerial flight test and the first flight with a production-representative missile, according to a service official.
Army Col. James Romero, program manager for Joint Attack Munition Systems, told reporters Thursday the service fired a JAGM off a MQ-1C Gray Eagle on May 25 at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The missile flew slightly further than 8 km at 7,500 feet altitude at a moving target, described as a civilian truck, moving at 20 mph. The missile destroyed the target, according to Army spokesman Dan O’Boyle.
Romero said this test flight was the seventh overall. The six previous ones, he said, were ground flights launched at a variety of targets, exercising different missile modes. All were successful. Romero also said the flight demonstrates full capability with Hellfire II platforms. JAGM was always planned to be backward compatible with Hellfire II platforms, he said.
The Army, Romero said, is on track for essential test article deliveries in August followed by a year of rigorous testing in support of eventual low-rate initial production (LRIP) decision at the end of 2018. Romero said the Army will be taking delivery of test articles in August and testing those missiles for safety, lethality and different environments.
At the culmination of testing, Romero said the Army will get airworthiness releases on Army AH-64 Apache and Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopters so full missiles with full energetic warheads and motors can be flown. He said the Army has been flying inert missiles on Apaches for several months and that integration is “on track.” The Army, he said, will also conduct logistics demonstrations and will qualify the production line following airworthiness releases.
The Army expects initial operational capability (IOC) in late 2018, Romero said. JAGM is developed by Lockheed Martin [LMT].