Lockheed Martin has launched DAGR rockets from an airborne AH-6 Little Bird helicopter and successfully hit the target in two separate trials. This is the second platform DAGR has fired from in the past few months-Lockheed Martin also fired DAGR rockets from the AH-64D Apache helicopter in March.
In preparation for the tests, conducted at the Yuma Army Proving Ground in Arizona, Lockheed Martin engineers mounted the DAGR four-pack launch canister on the outboard rail of a modified XM299 launcher carried by the AH-6 Mission Enhanced Little Bird test platform.
The Little Bird firings were performed as a running fire, using a ground designator, and then self designation using the Little Bird's onboard MX-15D1 targeting system. The DAGR rocket was extremely accurate in hitting the laser aimpoint in both tests.
"Not long ago we fired DAGR from an airborne Apache, and we are pleased to add the Little Bird to the roster of platforms that have demonstrated integration with the DAGR system," said Jerry Brode, DAGR program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
"Pilots in theater have expressed a desire for a guided rocket that hits the target and minimizes collateral damage," he added. "With multiple platform firings under its belt, along with the live warhead test we conducted at Eglin Air Force Base last year, DAGR is being qualified to deliver that capability."
Because the DAGR system is designed to be compatible with the M299 family of launchers, it offers potential integration on all rotary-wing HELLFIRE platforms, including the Apache, Little Bird, Kiowa, Blackhawk, Cobra, and Tiger helicopters. A mixed loadout of HELLFIRE IIs and DAGRs can be mounted on the same launcher, providing operational flexibility that enables cost-effective multi-mission capability from a single platform.
In 12 successful guided flight tests, the DAGR system has repeatedly demonstrated its precision strike and maneuver capabilities, hitting short- and long-range off-axis targets within minimal distance of the laser-designated aimpoint. This provides Warfighters with increased capability and an expanded engagement envelope.
Lockheed Martin has developed the DAGR system with internal funding, and is now making the system available for integration and fielding. Qualification of DAGR products and configurations is ongoing.