[Defense in Brief] U.S. Navy tests new Joint Air Ground Missile Targeting Technology

The U.S. Navy conducted tests of new missile-targeting technology recently at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

The test involved the Joint Air Ground Missile during the first analysis on an AH-1Z helicopter.

“During the flight, aircrew aboard the AH-1Z navigated the missile through various operational modes and exercised its active seeker to search and/or acquire targets, demonstrating its compatibility with the aircraft,” a NAVAIR statement said.

Other Navy officials said the recent test paves the way for additional live-fire flight testing later this year.

Missile development of the JAGM was initiated by the U.S. Army. The weapon incorporates millimeter wave, IR and laser guidance technology.

“JAGM will have the same back end as HELLFIRE and same production line,” Brig. Gen. Robert Rasch, Deputy Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space, said.

According to Army statements, the adverse-weather-capable JAGM System will enable warfighters to attack critical, high-value, fixed and moving, and fleeting targets day or night in battlefield limited visibility conditions from significant standoff ranges while remaining fully effective against a variety of countermeasures. [source]

(Analyst comment: Despite the U.S. military’s recent preoccupation with low-intensity brushfire wars in recent years, the Pentagon has been steadily working to bring more lethality to the force — a good thing, as near-peer and peer competitor threats continue to grow.)

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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