Lockheed Martin’s direct attack guided rocket (DAGR) has successfully demonstrated its ground launch capabilities during two separate guided flight tests at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, US.
In each test, an inert DAGR missile flew 3.5km and successfully intercepted a laser designated stationary target within 1ft of the aim-point, following its launch from a prototype pedestal launcher.
The launching device was equipped with four M299 launcher rails and associated cables and electronic systems to provide full compatibility with Hellfire II and DAGR missiles.
Targets were illuminated due to lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) targeting mode of the missile.
Ken Musculus, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business air-to-ground missile system programmes director, said the flight tests had confirmed that the missile possesses similar accuracy in both ground-based and airborne missions.
"The tests also verified the missile’s ability to acquire targets prior to launch, a capability that currently-fielded 2.75in guided rockets cannot deliver," Musculus added.
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DAGR is semi-active laser guidance kit, developed as a precision-strike, air-to-ground weapon for destruction of non-armoured or lightly armoured, high-value targets present close to civilian assets or friendly forces with minimum collateral damage.
Offering target handoff, enhanced built-in test, and laser coding from the cockpit, the rocket enables the pilots to efficiently pursue offset targets.
DAGR uses the M299 smart launcher to increase operational flexibility and cost-effective multi-mission capabilities from a single platform.
More than 30 test flights of the missile ranging from 1km to 5.1km have been completed to date, from various Hellfire-equipped rotary-wing platforms, including AH-64D Apache, AH-6 Little Bird and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters.