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US approves JAGM sale to UK

A British Army AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter showcasing its weapons package. Part of this package will comprise the JAGM missile, whose approval was granted on 23 October. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The United States government has approved the sale of the Lockheed Martin AGM-179A Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) to the United Kingdom.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the State Department's approval on 23 October, saying that 3,000 missiles and related items are to be acquired for an estimated USD957.4 million.

Approval for the procurement comes some two-and-a-half years since Janes first reported in March 2021 that the UK had placed an order for a single JAGM missile to be used for testing alongside the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire and MBDA Brimstone missiles in the common launcher.

At that time, Janes posited that the JAGM was destined for the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters that were then soon to enter into service with the British Army. This was confirmed by the government in June 2021 when Minister of State for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said that the US-built JAGM had been selected along with the Hellfire to equip the British Army Air Corps' (AAC's) fleet of 50 AH-64Es.

As noted by Janes Weapons: Air-Launched (JALW), the JAGM programme is a US Army-led pre‐Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) with joint involvement from the US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC), as well as a co‐operative developmental effort with the UK. The JAGM replaces airborne tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW), Hellfire, and AGM-65 Maverick missiles, and it is aimed at supporting more efficient logistics by replacing several missile variants with a single, interoperable weapon.

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