Lockheed Martin will seek US Army approval in 2008 to deploy to Iraq a surface-launched version of a new guided rocket, which, if approved, could occur within weeks of the first airborne firings of the new Direct Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR) a 70mm (2.75in) Hydra rocket with an attached sensor assembly.
"From a business-development aspect [the surface-launched model] is something that we started working on early this year," says Randy Thomas, business development manager for DAGR. The army has proposed to integrate the system and Lockheed AGM-114 Hellfire missiles with a network of tower-based sensors. The system could be installed at army bases in Iraq, and be used to detect and fire on insurgent mortar teams within a roughly 5min window, Thomas says. Lockheed is seeking to persuade the army to fund DAGR integration on a mix of manned helicopters and unmanned aircraft, he says.
The army has zeroed out funds for BAE Systems' Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II programme, which would have introduced a 70mm guided rocket with a launch field of +/-4deg. DAGR represents Lockheed's objective system for the requirement, offering a +/-15deg launch field of view and a seeker derived from the precision guided mortar munition programme.