Did Soleimani get JAGM’d? A Little Follow-Up on the Joint-Air-To-Ground Missile, Precision-Guided Goodness

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

Photo Credit: Title Image: Lockheed Martin via Defense News

January 6, 2020
Last updated on 1/09/20.

Well, this year (2020) certainly started off with a very big bang (or several bangs, perhaps), when a US General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B weaponized drone/UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) sent what may have been multiple Lockheed Martin Joint Air-To-Ground (JAGM) Missiles into cars containing one Iranian Quds Force “General” Qasem Soleimani, one Iraq Popular Mobilization Front (PMF) militia”deputy commander” Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and some nameless, faceless others that were all apparently hell-bent on creating even more terroristic havoc on the United States, after attacking our embassy in Iraq. The JAGM basically ads millimeter wave radar sensor(s) guidance to the AGM-114R multi-purpose HELLFIRE II’s semi–active laser (SAL) seekers, or laser guidance system. By the way, it’s also possible that the Reaper in question was utilizing a Gorgon Stare electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) multi-camera system during the mission, unless an even more advanced system is now in use.


Airport Ride Gone (Very) Wrong: Flaming wreckage you see is reportedly the aftermath of a direct hit on the car. No survivors. Hope they were insured. Photo Credit: AFP

DefenseReview (DR) published a piece on the JAGM all the way back in 2010. DR’s a fan of the JAGM, even if it isn’t what turned Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (try saying that name 5 times really fast) into red vapor, flying skin flaps and bone shards, or wet biological confetti, if you will. We like it ’cause it’s very precise, highly destructive, and seems to work as advertised. As such, Lockheed Martin is justifyably proud of it. Frankly, what’s not to like (except perhaps the per-unit cost, but quality costs, particularly with regard to precision tactical ordnance). The following is from a 2018 Lockheed Martin press release on the JAGM:

The JAGM system hardware that demonstrated over 95 percent reliability in flight testing is built on the active HELLFIRE® missile family production line by the same team that has produced over 75,000 missiles with a fielded reliability exceeding 97 percent.

In other words, it’s got one HELL of an ancestry/pedigree, excuse the pun. In developing the JAGM, Lockheed Martin basically just made the best even better.


Mr. GQ: Qasem Soleimani giving a wry smile and showing off his nifty red-jeweled ring while he was still alive, completely intact, and his left hand was still attached to his left arm. Photo Credit: AFP

Again, Defense Review’s not saying that the JAGM is definitely what turned Soleimani and his fellow carpool compadres into human dust clouds. Maybe it was something else. Regardless, the JAGM’s pretty much the perfect weapon for that kind of job, provided one also desires to make a statement. Sure, smaller guided rockets could have been sent, or, HELLFIRE II’s or JAGM’s could have been sent without the detonators/explosives activated…but it wouldn’t have sent quite the same message to the enemy. It simply wouldn’t have had the same level of panache…and no drone-fired air-to-ground missile system has more panache (in terms of precision guidance and lethality) than the JAGM, at present, and it’s exquisitely effective.


Give the Man a Hand, and That’s One Tough Ring: Soleimani not looking so good, post airstrike. Amazingly, Soleimani’s hand AND ring both appear to be intact after the airstrike, which is fortuitous, as it makes his remains easily identifiable both visually, and through DNA analysis. Authorities should even be able to get fingerprints and a handprint from it. Photo Credit: Press Association (PA)

Editor’s Note: The possible JAGMs’ delivery device, the GA MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B, is equally impressive in its own right.

Company Contact Info:

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control
P.O. Box 650003
Dallas, TX 75265-0003
Main: 972-603-1000

Media and Press Inquiries: 407-356-5351
Business Development: 407-356-4464
Fax 407-356-7199

General Atomics (GA) Corporate
3550 General Atomics Court
San Diego, CA 92121-1122
Website: www.ga-asi.com

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI)
Aircraft Systems
14200 Kirkham Way
Poway, CA 92064
Phone: (858) 312-2810
Fax: (858) 312-2801

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General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper UAS/UAV Retrofitted with Gorgon Stare Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Multi-Camera System: The All-Seeing Eye in the Sky…You Look at It, You Die.

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Did Soleimani get JAGM’d? A Little Follow-Up on the Joint-Air-To-Ground Missile, Precision-Guided Goodness by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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