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Terminal Guidance



AGM-65 Maverick Guided Missile

Services: Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force

Maverick missiles lined up on a flight deck Description: 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.

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

Background: The 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 significant 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 Co.; Raytheon Co.
Power Plant: Thiokol TX-481 two stage, solid propellent, rocket motor
Length: 8 feet, 2 inches (2.49 meters)
Launch Weight: From 462 pounds (207.9 kilograms) to 670 pounds (301.5 kilograms) depending upon model and warhead weight
Diameter: 12 inches (30.48 centimeters)
Wing Span: 2 feet, 4 inches (71.12 centimeters)
Range: 17+ miles (12 nautical miles/27 km)
Speed: Classified
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: Contact fuse, 300 pounds (135 kilograms); delayed fuse penetrator, heavyweight, 300 pounds (135 kilograms).
Unit Cost: $180,000
Date Deployed: August 1972


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