Lockheed Martin and Raytheon/Boeing are awaiting guidance from the U.S. Army on the restructured Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) program, and are expecting technology work to continue in lieu of moving into development and procurement.

“JAGM is not dead,” says J.R. Smith, Raytheon’s business development manager for advanced missiles and unmanned systems. The weapon is intended to replace Hellfire, air-launched Tow and Maverick missiles.

Instead of launching engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) in fiscal 2013, the Army is expected to fund an extended technology-development (TD) phase using money appropriated in fiscal 2011 and 2012.

Lockheed and Raytheon were awaiting a JAGM downselect late last year when the Army decided “it did not have enough funds to proceed forward into EMD and integration on six platforms,” Smith says.

The service has around $300 million in fiscal 2011-12 money, which it is expected to use to take both contractors through a 24-month extended-TD phase “focused on the affordability of the guidance section,” he says.

JAGM has a tri-mode seeker — semi-active laser, imaging infrared and millimeter-wave radar — that gives the weapon an adverse-weather, moving-target capability that Hellfire lacks. The missile also has twice the range.

Both contractors completed the original JAGM TD phase in December 2010, which included ground-launched flight tests of prototype missiles against fixed targets using each of the three seeker modes.

Smith expects the extended-TD phase to produce two fully qualified guidance sections. What will happen then is not clear; the Army could use the tri-mode seeker in an improved Hellfire or move to a second phase to bring in the JAGM motor and warhead.

Integrating JAGM on six Army and Navy fixed- and rotary-wing platforms “was a real big bill,” Smith says. “They could stagger it to level out the funding, focusing on rotary-wing first, likely the [Boeing AH-64D] Apache and [U.S. Marine Corps Bell] AH-1Z.”

While there is “no argument about the ultimate need for a Hellfire replacement,” he says, the Army could look at trading some JAGM requirements such as range to reduce cost.

“We are waiting for programmatic direction from the customer,” Lockheed Martin says, adding that initial efforts under extended TD will focus on affordability and requirements trades.

“We need a request for proposals soon, if we are to get to contract award by August so the Army doesn’t lose the 2011 money,” Smith says.