US Marine Corps JAGM-179A Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Initial Operational Capability
US Marine Corps JAGM-179A Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Initial Operational Capability

US Marine Corps JAGM-179A Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Initial Operational Capability

The U.S. Marine Corps declared Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the AGM-179A Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) on the AH-1Z Viper, March 1. JAGM, a joint program with the Army, is a precision-guided missile that combines semi-active laser guidance and millimeter-wave radar. It is an air-to-surface precision-guided munition (PGM) used on joint rotary-wing, unmanned aircraft systems, and fixed-wing platforms. IOC was achieved with missiles, training, and support equipment delivered to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 to support an upcoming deployment with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“Incorporating systems such as JAGM on the AH-1Z is essential in keeping the platform at the forefront of warfighting capabilities,” said Col. Vasilios Pappas, USMC H-1 light/attack helicopter program manager.

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“IOC marks a major milestone for the JAGM program and significant increase in capability for the AH-1Z,” said Cmdr. J. Reid Adams, deputy program manager for precision-guided missiles. “This accomplishment is a true testament of the tireless efforts made by so many across DoD and our industry partners to support the warfighter.”

U.S. Marines with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) load a joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) onto an AH-1Z Viper during an operational test at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Dec. 6, 2021.
U.S. Marines with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) load a joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) onto an AH-1Z Viper during an operational test at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Dec. 6, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabrielle Sanders)

The JAGM program successfully completed a thorough Initial Operational Test and Evaluation period with a recommendation to field the missile. AH-1Z pilots tested JAGM off the coast of Florida in November 2021 and conducted land-based testing in Arizona in December 2021. JAGM provides improved lethality, operational flexibility, and a reduced logistics footprint to the H-1 platform. It is part of an effort to upgrade the AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft in alignment with the Commandant’s vision of force modernization to maintain a competitive edge against potential adversaries.

The AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) is an American military program to develop an air-to-surface missile to replace the current air-launched BGM-71 TOW, AGM-114 Hellfire, and AGM-65 Maverick missiles. The U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps plan to buy thousands of JAGMs. The Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) program is a follow-on from the unsuccessful AGM-169 Joint Common Missile program that was cancelled due to budget cuts. JAGM will share basically the same objectives and technologies as JCM but will be developed over a longer time scale. The designation AGM-179 was assigned to the JAGM program. The AGM-179A achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with USMC AH-1Z helicopters in early 2022, clearing the weapon for operational deployment.

US Marine Corps JAGM-179A Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Initial Operational Capability
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Charles Smith, pilot, Marine Corps Aviation Detachment Patuxent River and Capt. Gregory Moore, operational test director, Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1), pilot an AH-1Z Viper during a joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) operational test at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Dec. 6, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabrielle Sanders)

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