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Lockheed’s DAGR missile completes ground fire test off JLTV

by Mike Hoffman on February 21, 2013

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Lockheed Martin recently completed a successful ground launch of the missile it is developing to compliment the AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

Engineers fired the Direct Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR) from a pedestal mounted to the back of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle that Lockheed is in a competition to build for the Army. Lockheed completed the DAGR missile test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., which was the 40th total fire test for the DAGR, according to Tim Hill, director of business development for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The missile was designed to be fired from a host of platforms — air and ground. Lockheed has already test fired the DAGR from the AH-64D Apache, AH-6 Little Bird and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.

It took the DAGR two seconds to lock onto the laser target after launch before traveling about three miles down the range and hitting within one meter of the target, according to a Lockheed statement.

DAGR utilizes Hellfire missile system technology in the missile to make sure it is easier for soldiers to train to use it, Hill said. It was built to integrate into the same systems that fire the Hydra-70 rockets.

He explained that the company understands the risk of developing a missile before the potential budget cuts associated with sequestration hit on March 1. Lockheed is confident the development program for the DAGR will continue despite the cuts because of the missile’s flexibility.

The expansion to the JLTV, the future Humvee replacement, shows the range of platforms the DAGR can be fired from, Hill said.

“DAGR delivers a high precision defensive capability to the surface combat arena when paired with the pedestal launcher and a mobile ground platform like the JLTV,” said Ken Musculus, director of close combat systems at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Dfens February 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm

It would be great if they put those on the C-130J gunship as a replacement for the Hellfire missiles on the wing pods. These look much more aerodynamic than the old Hellfire, and they probably have a better operator interface too (I hope).

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drone February 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

I think something like the GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bomb is a better idea for fixed wing gunships. At the altitude they operate, they have a long horizontal range, and compared to rockets, they have zero audible or visible launch signature, particularly at night, which has psychological as well as strategic value.

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dddd February 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Not sure if the audible matters. Any supersonic missile will strike before its target hears a thing.

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Dfens February 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

The main thing is, the new gunships have already been adapted for the Hellfire, so my thought was it could perhaps be easily converted to this follow on missile. The Hellfire has a lot of problems that make it a poor choice for the gunships as they are now, and there are probably lots of better options including the glide bomb. We'll see what happens.

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drone February 25, 2013 at 5:28 am

The target might not know what hit it, but given the vulnerability of a relatively slow and visible system like the AC-130, alerting nearby enemy forces to its presence with a rocket launch might not be the best idea.

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octopusmagnificens February 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Too obvious. What Lockheed Martin is selling here is the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

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Rock n Roll February 23, 2013 at 9:21 am

Or it could be LM is trying to sell a better weapon. This missile looks great to me. Definately far superior to the Hydra rockets.

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WRG001 February 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Also in development to appeal to the Navy as part of an interim offensive weapon package for the Littoral Combat Ships. There are many uses for such a weapon. Smart thinking to develop the missile with existing soldier systems knowledge in consideration…and by utilizing legacy and existing platforms/systems and technology, this should cut training costs, maintenance costs, etc etc etc…smart move.

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Praetorian February 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm
UAVGeek February 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

This isn't a replacement for hellfires, it's far too small and doesn't really do the job against armor. This is a way to get precision guidance into 70mm unguided rockets. Little Warhead- Smaller Collateral damage.

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Shail February 22, 2013 at 8:17 am

It's also doing it on the cheap, so to speak: after figuring out the R&D costs, the actual kits to convert unguided rockets into PGMs will be far cheaper than Hellfires. I won't begin to estimate how many 70mm rockets are still in inventory that aren't too old to be up-converted, but also new build rockets even with the kits will still be cheaper than a built-from-the-ground-up Hellfire.

There are rocket motor and warhead combinations out there that enable various 70mm rocket configurations to reach 12km or so.
A modern "Calliope" looking system with dozens of tubes might make for an interesting fire support system, with each having laser guided precision.

Even a beefier CROWS remote turret can mount a 7-round 70mm rocket pod.
Could be useful for several AFV types, even ship close range defense/offense.

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IdiotKidWho Reads February 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Hmm…Hummers equipped with a modern variation on the Calliope concept could prove to be very interesting close support weapons systems….and I am quite sure that a hail 70mm rockets will kill damn near anything our troops are likely to face.

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d. kellogg February 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

heh heh,….precision guidance means we don't need to do a hail (saturation) of rockets on a target. Ditto for artillery and mortar barrages with the advent of systems like Excalibur (155mm) and APMI (120mm).

WRT 70mm rockets and Hummvees (or JLTVs, whichever),
over the years Boeing developments have taken the Avenger system considerably further than just two quad-Stinger pods and a 50-cal M3P machine gun.
It's been developed into a multi-weapon turret system that can, much like the pylons of aircraft, be customized/adapted to a variety of different weapons: the 50-cal machine gun, that 25mm smart grenade Chain Gun (LW 25), Stinger pods, guided and/or unguided 70mm rockets, even AIM-9Xs and anti-IED/anti-UAV lasers have been shoe-horned in and tested.

I'm curious if we could mod the Bradley's twin TOW launcher to accept either the newer Javelins, or some kinda multi-shot 70mm launcher inserting in place of a single tube-encased TOW…?

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drone February 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

Maybe it could be fitted with a panzerfaust style larger diameter HEAT warhead in order to give it adequate anti-armour capability. The extra drag and weight would reduce velocity and range, but that might be an acceptable trade-off.

If M255 flechette warheads are also an option, proximity fusing could potentially turn it into an effective anti-helicopter weapon, in the style of the Rheinmetall AHEAD air burst rounds.

The variety of warheads available coupled with the typical mach 2 plus velocities achieved means that with guidance, this system promises to become a real swiss army knife rocket.

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IdiotKidWho Reads February 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

The article states that this development is intended to compliment the Hellfire munition, not replace it. It seems to me that they are envisioning helicopter gunships equipped with Hellfires for large/armored targets and these for smaller, softer targets that the gun system either cant reach or cant hurt (I'm uncertain as to the part apart the gun system being inadequate), or these for use in urban areas where a smaller, guided projectile is preferable to a large guided or several small, unguided munitions.

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WPG February 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Fuck collateral damage just flatten the city and move on its cheaper :)

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mpower6428 February 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm

This will fall is sequestration does. however, if lockheed does the right thing… they wont drop the ball and stop continued development. yes, yes that means lockheed is gonna have to pay for it, and make up for it with orders for an effective weapon system, like in the old days.

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tee February 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm

BAE already has in production for the Marines the "New Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS)" which is for the 70mm rocket launchers. And is already being used in Afghanistan by the Marines Cobra Z

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Tweedle Dee February 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Yeah but Lockheed Martin made its missile have an awesome acronym name

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Tweedle Dum February 22, 2013 at 8:25 am

They must have a whole department that works on these cool product acronyms.

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Lance February 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Sounds good but thanks to Obama no money to buy them. Sucks doesn't it?

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So? February 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Speaking of missile tank destroyers, Kaddafi took delivery of 3 Khrizantemas, and they all ended up in rebel hands apparently.

Nice thermal imager footage.
http://youtu.be/BeK6veAMU5o

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Roy Smith February 22, 2013 at 4:23 am

Maybe they should be talking about replacing the TOW missile. Would the DAGR work as well as the Spike-LR? That is the missile we should replace the TOW with. I believe that future generations will view our weapons procurement system as being just as corrupt as the former Soviet/present Russian system. We have poured billions of dollars(would saying trillions be hyperbole?) into a black hole for decades now. I remember the 9th Infantry HTTB Division. Advance that to the Crusader Howitzer,the Comanche helicopter,the COTS replacement that was supposed to replace the Comanche,FCS,etc,etc,ad nauseum. How much tax money is being poured into this & what are the chances of it being canceled by the sequester,or whatever excuse they’ll come up with to cancel it?

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blight_ February 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Wireless TOW is a pretty significant change in and of itself. Not sure if wireless TOW also needs to sit still like the wired version…?

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51yanks February 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Lighter, more accurate, longer range and smaller — What's not to love ?

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blight_ February 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm

DAGR: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/DAGR.ht

Complementing the ground hellfire?
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockhee

Edit:

Apparently "DAGR" is also a GPS receiver. You have used so many acronyms you now have hash collision. Go military.

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