The US Navy has successfully completed its first joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) flight test on the AH-1Z helicopter at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

The aircrew navigated the missile through a wide range of operational modes in order to demonstrate its compatibility with the helicopter and exercised its active seeker to search and / or acquire targets.

JAGM Flight Test lead Liam Cosgrove said: “Initial results from the flight indicate the missile performed as planned.

“We will continue to conduct a series of tests to prepare for live-fire testing of the JAGM off the AH-1Z scheduled for early this year.”

"We will continue to conduct a series of tests to prepare for live-fire testing of the JAGM off the AH-1Z scheduled for early this year."

The JAGM is a precision-guided missile that can be used against high-value stationary, moving and relocatable land and maritime targets.

It is being collaboratively developed by the US Navy and the US Army.

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The missile uses a multi-mode seeker to provide targeting day or night in adverse weather and battlefield obscured conditions, as well as against a wide range of countermeasures.

The JAGM munition is managed by the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and is initially set to be integrated on-board the AH-64 Apache and US Marine Corps’ AH-1Z helicopters.

JAGM is also compatible with any aircraft that can support the installation of Hellfire missiles.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) programme manager captain Mitch Commerford said: “This missile will provide increased lethality and better targeting capabilities beyond the Hellfire’s laser point designating capability that the AH-1Z currently has in theatre today.”

The US Army is scheduled to complete a 48-shot test matrix on the AH-64 Apache helicopter in support of Milestone C during the first half of this year.