The Navy is upgrading the guidance control systems on its inventory of 500 air-launched AGM-65 Maverick missiles in order to give the weapon semi-active laser targeting technology, Raytheon officials said.
The upgrades are converting the Navy’s infrared-guided AGM-65 F-model Mavericks into laser-guided AGM-65 E2 variants.
“The enhanced laser Maverick is backward compatible with a number of platforms, including the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet,” said Gordon McKenzie, Raytheon business development, Maverick.
The air-to-ground Maverick missile is configured with infrared guidance, television-view guidance and laser guidance. The weapon can be fired with a 300-pound blast fragmentation warhead or a 125-pound shaped charged warhead, McKenzie added.
Fired by the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, the Maverick missile is engineered to fire from F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, F/A-18s, Harriers and P-3 surveillance planes, among others. The weapon can also be fired from helicopters.
The Navy variant of the Maverick is built with a special mechanical safe arming device to ensure safety of the weapon while it is handled on ships, such as the deck of an aircraft carrier, McKenzie said.
The laser-guidance technology of the weapon increases its ability to strike fast-moving or maneuvering ground targets, he added.
The laser-guidance option for the Maverick is only available with the heavier 300-pound blast-fragmentation warhead, McKenzie said.