DH - Defence Helicopter

DAGR capability as air-launched weapon demo'd

19th March 2014 - 14:34 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin’s DAGR guided rocket has successfully completed a series of Air Worthiness Release (AWR) live firing flight tests from an Apache AH-64D helicopter, during which it achieved target hits in 16 out of 16 firings.

The tests, conducted to demonstrate DAGR's capability as an air-launched weapon, saw a DAGR guided rocket lock onto the laser spot illuminating the target before launch. In each of the 16 launches, the rocket flew between 1.5km and 5.1km to fit the target within 1m of the laser spot. 

DAGR incorporates Hellfire II technology into a 2.75-inch/70mm guidance kit that integrates with legacy Hydra-70 rockets. Its lock-on-before-launch mode allows the guided rocket to identify the correct target prior to launch. Multiple DAGRs can be fired in rapid succession at different targets using different laser codes from multiple designators. 

Kevin Fitzpatrick, close combat systems development program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said: ‘These flight tests confirm DAGR's ability to safely launch and separate from a moving, diving platform without degrading aircraft or weapon performance. These tests also validate DAGR production readiness at our Ocala Operations facility.’

Lockheed Martin has already completed DAGR system qualification testing, validating the rocket and rail-mounted canister for use in aircraft captive carry, storage and transportation operations. The 30 system qualification guided flights demonstrated DAGR's ability to hit moving targets, devastate tactical targets such as structures and trucks, and achieve high accuracy when launched with a 7-degree offset, up to 6km away from the target. 

More than 40 DAGR guided flights have been conducted from ranges of 1km to 6km. DAGR has been launched from multiple Hellfire-equipped rotary-wing platforms, including the AH-64D Apache, AH-6 Little Bird and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, as well as the ground-based Hellfire/DAGR pedestal launcher.

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