The Army is Testing Replacement for the Hellfire Missile

AH-64 Apache attack helicopter fires AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

AH-64 Apache attack helicopter fires AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

March 12, 2018 | Source: MSN News, Business Insider,, 15 February 2018, Christopher Woody

The Army and Navy are testing a missile to replace the vaunted Hellfire.

US Army aviators have been putting the new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) through its paces, as the program works its way to its next milestone, a low-rate initial production decision.

The JAGM is meant to provide precision standoff-strike capability to target high-value fixed and moving targets, both armored and unarmored, even in poor weather conditions. It will replace several air-launched missiles, including the AGM-114 Hellfire, which has seen extensive use in the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The versatility and simplicity of the new missile won high marks from pilots testing it.

"Before, we had to put a lot of thought into, 'What do I need?' As soon as I launch, I don't get to come back and change out my missiles," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 John Bilton, the first nonexperimental test pilot to fire the missile late last year. "In combat, you don't want to encounter a target you need to hit and not have on-board the right missile for the job."