AGM-65 Maverick

AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-65 Maverick MG 1382.jpg
Type Air-to-surface guided missile
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service August 1972–present
Used by See Operators
Production history
Manufacturer Hughes Aircraft Corporation; Raytheon Corporation
Unit cost Up to US$160,000
Weight 466–670 lb (211–300 kg)
Length 8 feet 2 inches (2.49 m)[1]
Diameter 12 inches (300 mm)[1]

Warhead 57 kg (125 lb) WDU-20/B shaped-charge (A/B/C models), 136 kg (300 lb) WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation (E/F/G models), E models utilize FMU-135/B delayed impact fuze

Engine A/B:Thiokol SR109-TC-1, D/E/F/G SR114-TC-1 (or Aerojet SR115-AJ-1) solid propellant rocket motor via a WPU-4/B or WPU-8/B propulsion section
Wingspan 2 feet 4 inches (710 mm)
15 nmi (17 mi; 28 km)
Speed Mach 0.93 (1,200 Km/H)
Electro-optical in A, B, H, J and K models; infrared imaging in D, F and G models; laser guided in E models

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

Different models of the AGM-65 have used electro-optical, laser, and infra-red guidance systems. The AGM-65 has two types of warheads: one has a contact fuze in the nose, the other has a heavyweight warhead fitted with a delayed-action fuze, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before detonating. The latter is most effective against large, hard targets (so to speak). The propulsion system for both types is a solid-fuel rocket motor behind the warhead.

The Maverick missile is unable to lock onto targets on its own; it has to be given input by the pilot or Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) after which it follows the path to the target autonomously (fire-and-forget). In an A-10, for example, the video fed from the seeker head is relayed to a screen in the cockpit, where the pilot can check the locked target of the missile before launch. A crosshair on the head-up display (HUD) is shifted by the pilot to set the approximate target while the missile will then automatically recognize and lock on to the target. Once the missile is launched, it requires no further assistance from the launch vehicle and tracks its target automatically. This fire-and-forget property is not shared by the E version that uses semi-active laser homing.[1]


Operational use

Iran used Maverick missiles extensively during Iran-Iraq War, with Iranian F-4Es being the primary launch platform.[citation needed] The Maverick was used to achieve the near complete destruction of Iraq Navy during Operation Morvarid (Persian:عملیات مروارید "Operation Pearl").[citation needed] The operation was launched by the Iranian Navy and Air Force against the Iraqi Navy and Air Force on 28 November 1980, in response to Iraq positioning radar and monitoring equipment. The Iranians used Mavericks to sink three OSA IIs and four P-6s. Iran also adapted its AH-1J SeaCobras to fire Mavericks in an effort to enhance the helicopters' anti-armor capability.[citation needed]

AGM-65 missiles were employed by General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to attack armored targets. Mavericks played an important part in the destruction of Iraq's military force.

AGM-65B were successfully employed by Soko J-22 Orao of Serbian Air Force in air to ground operations in conflict on territory of former Yugoslavia.

The first time these missiles were fired from a P-3 Orion at a hostile vessel was when the U.S. Navy and coalition units came to aid of Libyan rebels to engage Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria in the port of Misrata, Libya, during the late evening of March 28, 2011. Vittoria was engaged and fired upon by a U.S. Navy P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft with AGM-65 Maverick missiles.[2]


Jet aircraft slightly pointing downwards firing a missile.
An A-10 Thunderbolt II firing an AGM-65.
  • Maverick A is the basic model and uses an electro-optical television guidance system.
  • Maverick B is similar to the A model, although the B model added optical zooming to lock onto small or distant targets.
  • Maverick C was to be a laser-guided variant for the United States Marine Corps (USMC). It was canceled before production, however its requirement was later met by the Maverick E.
  • Maverick D replaced the electro-optical guidance with an imaging infrared system which doubled practical firing distance and allowed for use at night and during bad weather. A reduced smoke rocket engine was also introduced in this model. Achieved initial operation capability in 1983.
  • Maverick E uses a laser designator guidance system optimized for fortified installations and heavier penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead (300 pounds / 140 kilograms vs. 125 pounds / 57 kilograms in older models). Achieved IOC in 1985 and used mainly by USMC aviation.
  • Maverick F, designed specially for US Navy, uses a modified Maverick D infrared guidance system optimized for tracking ships fitted onto Maverick-E body and warhead.
  • Maverick G model essentially has the same guidance system as the D with some software modification that enables the pilot to track larger targets. The G model's major difference is its heavier penetrator warhead taken from Maverick E, compared to the D model's shaped-charge warhead. Completed tests in 1988.
  • Maverick H model is an AGM-65B/D missile upgraded with a new charge-coupled device (CCD) seeker better suited for desert environment.
  • Maverick J model is a Navy AGM-65F missile upgraded with the new CCD seeker. However this conversion is not confirmed.
  • Maverick K model is an AGM-65G upgraded with the CCD seeker, at least 1200, but possibly up to 2500, AGM-65G rounds are planned for conversion to AGM-65K standard.[1]


LAU-117 Maverick launchers have been used on U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps aircraft:

Other nations

See also

Related lists



External links

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