Joint Common Missile: It Lives!
On March 24, 205, DID covered the Joint Common Missile program and its clouded future. Would the JCM, which had generally been successful in its tests, become the air-to-ground precision missile that would replace AGM-114 Hellfires, AGM-65 Mavericks and airborne TOW missiles with a single weapon usable by the airplanes, helicopters, UAVs, and even some ground vehicles of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps?
Well, no. Not yet, anyway. On the other hand, the program isn’t entirely dead. Military.com reports that when US House and Senate conferees reconciled the details of the FY 2006 defense appropriations bill, they restored $30 million to the Army-led JCM program to continue the missile’s development ($26 million in research, development, test and evaluation funding from the Army, and $4 million from the Navy). They’ve also required a report by January 30, 2006 explaining how the Pentagon plans to fill the future gaps created by the missile’s demise, and a cost analysis of continuation vs. termination and buying existing missiles. Depending on what that study says, the JCM program could rise again.