AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter The Lockheed Martin-built direct attack guided rocket (DAGR) has successfully tracked and engaged a moving target during a live-fire testing from AH-64D Apache helicopters at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, US.

During the demonstration, which consisted of four test flights, the rocket hit the moving target from a range of 3.5km, following launch from an AH-64D Apache flying in high winds.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business DAGR programme director Hady Mourad said: "Defeating high-value targets on the move is a critical capability, and demonstrating this ability is a significant milestone for the precision-strike DAGR."

The helicopter’s lock-on-before-launch targeting mode was used to designate the target, which was a truck moving at a speed of 25mph.

The demonstration also highlighted additional DAGR capabilities, including use of lock-on-after-launch mode, a long-range 5km flight and launch from a 5-degree offset.

"Defeating high-value targets on the move is a critical capability, and demonstrating this ability is a significant milestone for the precision-strike DAGR."

The DAGR round hit within 1m of the laser aim-point in all four tests.

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It has been put through more than 30 test flights by the company from ranges of 1km to 5.1kms from multiple Hellfire-equipped rotary-wing platforms, including the AH-64D Apache, AH-6 Little Bird and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

DAGR is a semi-active laser guidance kit developed as a precision-strike, air-to-ground weapon to destroy non-armoured or lightly armoured, high-value targets close to civilian assets or friendly forces with minimum collateral damage.

The rocket also provides target handoff, enhanced built-in test, and laser coding from the cockpit, enabling pilots to efficiently pursue offset targets.

The DAGR is fully compatible with Hellfire II laser guided missiles and uses the M299 smart launcher to increase operational flexibility and cost-effective multi-mission capability from a single platform.

Image: An US Army’s AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter based at Forward Operating Base in Speicher, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of US Army – by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway.