US Marine Corps Declares Initial Operational Capability for Joint Air-to-ground Missile (JAGM)
US Marine Corps Declares Initial Operational Capability for Joint Air-to-ground Missile (JAGM)

US Marine Corps Declares Initial Operational Capability for Joint Air-to-ground Missile (JAGM)

The U.S. Department of Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps declared initial operational capability for the AGM-179A joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) on the AH-1Z Viper helicopter, March 1, 2022. The Marine Corps announced this major milestone after the program successfully conducted a robust initial operational test and evaluation period, and received delivery of missiles, training, and pertinent equipment. Testing and evaluation teams from across the Department of Defense conducted extensive analysis of the weapon system’s performance, capturing data relevant to its effectiveness on maritime and land targets.

“The success of the JAGM system to date is a reflection of the hard work and effort by the Marines, sailors, and civilians at Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1), Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1), Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) and the Light/Attack Helicopter program offices (PMA-276), the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21), fleet Marine units, our industry partners, and the many years of support received from across the Department of Defense,” said Marine Corps Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation Brig. Gen. Matthew T. Mowery.

U.S. Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, load a joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) onto an AH-1Z Viper at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, March 2, 2022. The JAGM is a precision-guided munition for use against high value stationary, moving, and relocatable land and maritime targets. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz)

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) from 3rd Marine Air Wing (MAW) will be one of the of first Marine Corps squadrons to field the JAGM on their upcoming deployment with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters. Nicknamed the “Stingers”, the squadron is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).

The addition of the JAGM into the Marine Corps’ arsenal increases the ability to mass fires in all weather conditions, and expands Marine Corps aviation versatility as an integral part of the Fleet Marine Forces. 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 JAGM was intended for joint service with the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps by providing a single missile configuration for many platforms. JAGM offered the services increased operational flexibility and reduced logistics support costs.

U.S. Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, hover taxi an AH-1Z Viper equipped with joint air-to-ground missiles (JAGM) at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, March 2, 2022. The JAGM is a precision-guided munition for use against high value stationary, moving, and relocatable land and maritime targets. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz)