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AGM-65 Maverick

The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-surface tactical missile designed for close air support, interdiction, and defense suppression. It is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation, and fuel storage facilities.

The AGM-65F (infrared targeting) used by the US Navy has an infrared guidance system optimized for ship tracking and a larger penetrating warhead than the 125 pound (57 kg) shaped charge used by the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force (300 pound [136 kg] vs 125 pounds [57 kg]). The AGM-65 has two types of warheads; one has a contact fuse in the nose, and the other has a heavyweight warhead with a delayed fuse, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is most effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.

AGM-65 missiles were employed by F-16s and A-10s during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to attack armored targets. Mavericks played a large part in the destruction of Iraq's military force.

General Characteristics

  • Primary function: Air-to-surface laser guided missile; attack and destroy armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation, and fuel installations.
  • Contractor: Hughes Aircraft Corporation[?]; Raytheon Corporation.
  • Power plant: Thiokol TX-481 two stage, solid propellant, rocket motor
  • Length: 2.5 meters (8 feet, 2 inches)
  • Launch weight: From 208 kilograms (462 pounds) to 302 kilograms (670 pounds) depending upon model and warhead weight
  • Diameter: 30.5 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Wing span: 71 centimeters (2 feet, 4 inches)
  • Range: 27 kilometers (17 statute miles, 12 nautical miles)
  • Guidance: Electro-optical in A and B models; infrared imaging in D and G models; laser guided in E models; infrared homing in F models.
  • Warhead: 135 kilograms (300 pounds); contact fuse, delayed fuse penetrator, heavyweight
  • Unit cost: US$180,000
  • Date first deployed: August 1972

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