United States defense contractor Lockheed Martin successfully tested an advanced laser-guided Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, the company announced Monday. The JAGMs were tested during recent flight tests, sponsored by the U.S. government.
In the first test, the missile flew nearly 2.5 miles, before engaging its semi-active laser for a precision strike, and hit a stationary target. In the second test, the missile also simultaneously tracked the target with its millimeter wave radar, and successfully hit the target, according to Lockheed Martin.
The new JAGMs will provide U.S. fighter jets with “enhanced accuracy and increased survivability against stationary and moving targets in all weather conditions,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
The JAGM comes with a fire-and-forget capability to track and destroy targets “in GPS denied and austere communications environments.” The missile can also “engage multiple stationary and moving targets, in the presence of adverse weather, battlefield obscurants and advanced countermeasures,” the company said. Fire-and-forget is a type of missile guidance, which does not require further guidance after launch, and can hit targets without the launcher being in line-of-sight of the target.
The missile can target various objects, including moving and stationary armor, air defense units, patrol craft, artillery, transporter erector or launchers, radar sites and bunkers, according to Lockheed Martin.
Monday’s announcement came two months after Lockheed Martin received a $174 million contract to produce long-range, surface-to-surface missiles called “Army Tactical Missile System” (ATACMS) for the U.S. Army and the United Arab Emirates.
In January, the U.S. Army awarded a $78 million contract to Lockheed Martin for modernizing the ATACMS.