USMC increased AH-1Z Viper helo capacity through AGM-179A missile

WASHINGTON — The US Marine Corps [USMC] has successfully tested a ground-to-air missile AGM-179A [JAGM] mounted on a Bell AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopter, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a press release from NAVAIR. In this way, the US military has achieved initial operational capability [IOC] for compatibility between the missile and the helicopter.

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

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that JAGM is an American military missile program that will provide the military with precision, through laser targeting and millimeter waves, as part of the radar system. This ammunition is used by various aircraft, such as combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aerial platforms with fixed wings. JAGM successfully hits marine and land mobile or stationary targets.

After achieving the IOC, the ammunition can also be used by various models of attacking helicopters in service with the US Marine Corps, Navy, or Air Force.

Commander. J. Reed Adams, deputy program manager for precision-guided missiles, said that after the tests were completed, the AH-1Z would significantly increase its capacity. According to the commander, the success is due to all the people in the chain – from the State Department to the people who assembled the rocket in the production halls of Lockheed Martin.

The tests

Compatibility and PSI tests went through two phases: the first off the coast of Florida in November 2021, and the second over the deserts of Arizona at the end of the year in December.

USMC increased AH-1Z Viper helo capacity through AGM-179A missile
Photo credit: Cpl. Gabrielle Sanders / USMC

The tests were performed by Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. During the tests, the soldiers also got acquainted with the operational capabilities of the missile, having undergone a series of training.

Colonel Vassilios Papas, USMC H-1 Light / Shock Helicopter Program Manager, says JAGM will ensure that AH-1Z helicopters maintain their combat readiness at all times by placing them at the forefront of US Marine Corps capability.

AGM-179 JAGM

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

AGM-179 JAGM is a deadly missile with high operational flexibility and reduced logistical footprint, say NAVAIR. What we know about this rocket model is that it has a Semi-active laser and millimeter-wave radar, weighs 49 kilograms, is 1,800 mm long, and has a diameter of 180 mm.

Its operational range is up to 8 kilometers. He is in service only in the Royal British Air Force and US military units.

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