8 shots, 8 hits – AH-1Z Viper helo successfully tests AGM-179 missile

WASHINGTON — The US Marines of the Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One [VMX-1] conducted tests of the JAGM air-to-surface missile from the AH-1Z Viper helicopter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express.

8 shots, 8 hits - AH-1Z Viper helo successfully tests JAGM missile
Photo credit: Defense Express

The tests took place on December 6, 2021, at Yuma Marine Corps Air Force Base, Arizona. This is stated in the message of the US Marine Corps on January 31, 2022.

It is noted that during the tests, eight separate shots were fired at armored and lightly armored vehicles in various combat scenarios. The collected data will be analyzed to identify the overall effectiveness of the system and to clarify the tactics, methods, and procedures for the use of these weapons in strike operations and direct air support.

Previously, the capabilities of the JAGM missile were tested for naval purposes, now US Marines are testing how it will destroy the already ground “targets”

It claimed that this event “could significantly increase the striking ability of attack helicopters by arming them with more modern ammunition equipped with two sensor technologies and optimizing the characteristics of missiles for ground targets.”

These tests are part of a large-scale effort to upgrade the AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters to maintain a competitive advantage over potential adversaries.

AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missile

The AGM-179 JAGM is set to replace the current BGM-71 TOW, AGM-114 Hellfire, and AGM-65 Maverick missiles in the coming years. AGM-179 JAGM is a new program of the Pentagon, which should provide a new American air-to-surface missile. Years ago, the United States tried to develop AGM-169, but the program failed and funding was suspended.

8 shots, 8 hits - AH-1Z Viper helo successfully tests JAGM missile
Photo credit: Forbes

AGM-179 JAGM is being developed by Lockheed Martin. The missile weighs 49 kg and has a diameter of 18 cm. AGM-179 JAGM must hit targets at a maximum distance of 8 km. The missile has two radars – semi-active laser and millimeter-wave radar.

JAGM and Gen. Qasem Soleimani

On January 3, 2020, the Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. was assassinated. Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Front [PMF] militias. The assassination attempt took place near Baghdad airport.

The motives and perpetrators of the operation have been commented on since then, and the means used to carry out the drone attack on the two senior Iranian officers remain in the background.

Mohamed Saleh Alftaye, a military analyst specializing in the Middle East, drew my attention to a photo posted to an Iraqi Facebook group that appears to show fragments of the river.

“I do think US used its newest missile, JAGM, in assassinating Soleimani in Iraq. JAGM, Joint Air-to-Ground Missile, was supposed to go into production in 2019. JAGM has the same engine & warhead of the AGM-114R, but adds radar sensor guidance to the Hellfire laser guidance,” Alftaye said in his post.

The photo shows an imprint on the fragment, which notes that the rocket weighs 52 kilograms [114.6 pounds] and requires two people to lift.

8 shots, 8 hits - AH-1Z Viper helo successfully tests JAGM missile
Photo credit: Twitter

Some analysts have identified the munition as the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, a deadly supersonic anti-tank weapon now widely used by the US military to attack a variety of targets. In addition to the latest laser-guided AGM-114R Romeo, there is a mysterious Hellfire variant that uses popping sword blades to kill targets with minimal side damage.


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