AGM-179: The Next Generation Air-To-Ground Missile Set to Replace the Hellfire

The cutting-edge AGM-179 will provide more firepower, range, and accuracy than current air-to-ground missiles.
Rising Thunder 21 Combined Hellfire Missile Shoot

The AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) is the next generation of air-to-ground missiles designed to replace the venerable AGM-114 Hellfire missile after almost 40 years in service.

But, the task of replacing a missile that has made history and played a major role in the last wars is no small thing – and the AGM-179 missile will have to prove its worth.

The new AGM-179 JAGM

The AGM-179 is a next-generation precision strike weapon built to provide the US military with a more effective and efficient means of delivering fire support.


AGM-179 by US Army. Public Domain.

It is a multi-purpose missile that can be used in a variety of combat scenarios and can be launched from fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is also compatible with the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.

Additionally, it is equipped with a semi-active laser and an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker for increased accuracy – and it is expected to enter service in the next few years.

The reliable AGM-114 Hellfire missile

Hellfire by Brandon Bolick. Public Domain.

The AGM-114 Hellfire missile is a precision-guided weapon that was developed initially for blowing up tanks and other armored vehicles. The Hellfire has been used extensively in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it has proved to be an invaluable tool.


However, the Hellfire has since been adapted for use against a variety of targets, including buildings, bunkers, and even people.

There are several different types of Hellfire missiles, each with its own unique capabilities.

  • The AGM-114N is the most common type of Hellfire missile and is used primarily for destroying buildings and vehicles.
  • The AGM-114K is designed for use against bunkers and armored targets and is equipped with a heavier warhead.
  • The AGM-114L “Longbow” is a variant equipped with a millimeter wave radar seeker, making it effective against all kinds of armored targets.

Lockheed Martin Longbow Hellfire
Lockheed Martin Longbow Hellfire by Stahlkocher. Licensed under CC by 3.0

  • The Hellfire AGM-114R9X is a kinetic variant designed to kill its target with its blades while minimizing collateral damage. The missile is equipped with six long blades that deploy shortly before impact, slicing through buildings and vehicles without exploding.

This makes the R9X perfect for targeting individuals in urban areas where collateral damage is a significant concern. The missile is designed to be as quiet as possible, minimizing the risk of attracting attention to the launch site. 


All of these variants are highly effective and have been responsible for countless enemy kills over the years.

The advantages of the AGM-179 JAGM over the Hellfire missile

The AGM-179 JAGM is much more precise, meaning that it is less likely to cause collateral damage. Additionally, the JAGM has a longer range than the Hellfire, making it more effective against targets that are far away or difficult to reach.

Finally, the JAGM is equipped with a seeker head that allows it to track moving targets, making it ideal for use against vehicles or other moving targets.


AGM-179 JAGM will probably follow the spectacular legacy of the Hellfire

This new missile will surely preserve the strong performance of the Hellfire and will mark an era in terms of technology.

However, the Hellfire missile will probably remain in use for some time because it is still a deadly weapon, capable of causing devastation to both military targets and civilians.

Featured image credit: Rising Thunder 21 Combined Hellfire Missile Shoot by Kyle Abraham. Public Domain.