World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

AGM-65 Maverick

AGM-65 Maverick
Type Air-to-surface missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 30 August 1972 – present[1]
Used by 30+ countries
Wars Vietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Iran–Iraq War
Persian Gulf War
Iraq War
2011 Libyan civil war
Production history
Manufacturer Hughes Missile Systems Division
Unit cost US$17,000 to $110,000, depending on variant[1]
Number built 70,000+
Weight 210–304 kg (462–670 lb)[2]
Length 249 cm (8 ft 2 in)[2]
Diameter 30 cm (12 in)[2]
Warhead 57 kg (126 lb) WDU-20/B shaped-charge (A/B/C/D/H models)
136 kg (300 lb) WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation (E/F/G/J/K models)
E models utilize FMU-135/B delayed impact fuze[2]

Engine A/B:Thiokol SR109-TC-1
D/E/F/G/H/J/K: SR114-TC-1 (or Aerojet SR115-AJ-1) Solid propellant rocket motor via a WPU-4/B or WPU-8/B propulsion section[2]
Wingspan 710 mm (2 ft 4 in)[1]
Propellant Solid propellant[1]
Greater than 22 km (12 nmi)[3]
Speed 1,150 km/h (620 kn)[3]
A/B: Electro-optical guidance
H/J/K: charge-coupled device
D/F/G: infrared homing
E: Laser guidance[1][2]

The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support. The most widely produced precision-guided missile in the Western world,[4] it is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities. Originally designed and built by Hughes Missile Systems, development of the AGM-65 spanned from 1966 to 1972, after which it entered service with the United States Air Force in August 1972. Since then, it has been exported to more than 30 countries and is certified on 25 aircraft.[5] The Maverick served during the Vietnam, Yom Kippur, Iran–Iraq and Gulf Wars, along with other smaller conflicts, destroying enemy forces and installations with varying degrees of success.

Since its introduction into service, numerous Maverick versions had been designed and produced, using electro-optical, laser, charge-coupled device and infra-red guidance systems. The AGM-65 has two types of warhead: 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 Maverick shares the same configuration as Hughes's AIM-4 Falcon and AIM-54 Phoenix, and measures more than 2.4 m (8 ft) in length and 30 cm (12 in) in diameter.


  • Development 1
  • Design 2
  • Variants 3
  • Deployment 4
  • Launch platforms 5
    • United States 5.1
    • Export 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The Maverick's development history began in 1965, when the AGM-83 Bulldog, AGM-79 Blue Eye. and AGM-80 Viper.

From 1966 to 1968,

  • Video clip of a T50 trainer firing a Maverick
  • Video clip detailing the Maverick's operation

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s
  3. ^ a b c d Bonds & Miller 2002, p. 230.
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b c Clancy 1995, p. 163
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e f g
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d e Clancy 1995, p. 164
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Friedman 2006, p. 562.
  12. ^ a b Clancy 1995, p. 166.
  13. ^ a b c
  14. ^ U.S. Air Force Completes Developmental Testing of Raytheon Laser-Guided Maverick - Raytheon news release, 9 August 2011
  15. ^ Laser Maverick Missile Will Hit Pirates -, 15 February 2012
  16. ^ Clancy 1995, pp. 163–164.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Laur & Llanso 1995, pp. 273–274.
  19. ^ Laur & Llanso 1995, p. 274.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Archived May 16, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Welcome Shahed Magazines Archived February 2, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Archived February 3, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ a b c d e f g
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ a b c d
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  29. ^ Karim 1996, p. 71.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  1. ^ Laur and Llanso claim that 18 Mavericks were launched for 13 hits during the Vietnam War from January to February 1973, while the Israelis launched 50 Mavericks during the Yom Kippur War for 42 hits and five deliberate misses.[18]


Related lists

See also

The Maverick has been exported to at least 30 countries:


LAU-117 Maverick launchers have been used on USN, USAF, and USMC aircraft:

United States

An IRIAF F-4E Phantom II carrying four AGM-65 Mavericks
US Navy F/A-18C Hornet armed with AGM-65 Maverick
Map with AGM-65 operators in blue

Launch platforms

The first time the Maverick were fired from a Lockheed P-3 Orion at a hostile vessel was when the USN and coalition units came to the aid of Libyan rebels to engage the Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria in the port of Misrata, Libya, during the late evening of 28 March 2011. Vittoria was engaged and fired upon by a USN P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft with AGM-65 Maverick missiles.[25]

In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. In early 1991, the US-led Coalition executed Operation Desert Storm during which Mavericks played a crucial role in the ousting of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Employed by F-15E Strike Eagles, F-18 Hornets, AV-8B Harriers, F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolts, but used mainly by the last two, more than 5,000 Mavericks were deployed to attack armored targets.[1][24] The most-used variant by the USAF was the IIR-guided AGM-65D.[24] The reported hit rate by USAF Mavericks was 80–90%, while for the USMC it was 60%.[2] The Maverick was used again in Iraq during the 2003 Iraq War, during which 918 were fired.[11]

In June 1975, during a border confrontation, Iranian troops fired twelve Mavericks, all successful, at Iraqi tanks.[19] Five years later, during Operation Pearl as part of the Iran–Iraq War, Iranian F-4s used Mavericks to sink three OSA II missile boats and four P-6 combat ships.[20] Due to weapons embargoes, Iran had to equip its AH-1J SeaCobra helicopters with AGM-65 Maverick missiles and used them with some success in various operations such as Operation Undeniable Victory whereas Iranian AH-1J's fired 11 Mavericks.[21][22][23]

The Maverick was declared operational on 30 August 1972 with the F-4D/Es and A-7s initially cleared for the type;[8] the missile made its combat debut four months later with the USAF in the Vietnam War.[16] During the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, the Israelis used Mavericks to destroy and disable enemy vehicles.[10] Deployment of early versions of the Mavericks in these two wars were successful due to the favorable atmospheric conditions that suited the electro-optical TV seeker.[10] Ninety-nine missiles were fired during the two wars, eighty-four of which were successful.[17][N 1]

An A-10 firing a Maverick missile


  • Maverick A is the basic model and uses an electro-optical television guidance system. No longer in U.S. service.
  • 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 the practical firing distance and allowed for its use at night and during bad weather. A reduced smoke rocket engine was also introduced in this model. It achieved its initial operation capability in 1983.
  • Maverick E uses a laser designator guidance system optimized for fortified installations and heavier penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead (140 kg (300 lb) vs. 57 kg (125 lb) in older models). It achieved IOC in 1985 and was used mainly by USMC aviation.
  • Maverick F, designed specially for US Navy, it uses a modified Maverick D infrared guidance system optimized for tracking ships fitted onto a 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 the Maverick E, compared to the D model's shaped-charge warhead. It 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 the 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 1,200, but possibly up to 2,500 AGM-65G rounds are planned for conversion to AGM-65K standard.[2]
  • Maverick E2/L model incorporates a laser-guided seeker that allows for designation by the launch aircraft, another aircraft, or a ground source and can engage small, fast moving, and maneuvering targets on land and at sea.[14][15]
Laser AGM-65 Maverick on a USN F/A-18C, 2004
Differences between different Maverick versions[1][2][3][5]
Length 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)
Wingspan 72 cm (28.3 in)
Diameter 30 cm (12 in)
Weight 210 kg (462 lb) 220 kg (485 lb) 293 kg (645 lb) 306 kg (675 lb) 210 or 211 kg (462 or 465 lb) 297 kg (654 lb) 306 kg (675 lb)
Speed 1,150 km/h (620 kn)
Range Greater than 22 km (12 nmi)
Guidance Electro-optical TV Imaging infrared Laser Imaging infrared Charge-coupled device
Propulsion Thiokol SR109-TC-1 solid-fuel rocket Thiokol SR114-TC-1 (or Aerojet SR115-AJ-1) solid-fuel rocket
Warhead 57 kg (126 lb) WDU-20/B shaped-charge 136 kg (300 lb) WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation 57 kg (126 lb) WDU-20/B shaped-charge 136 kg (300 lb) WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation


The Maverick missile is unable to lock onto targets on its own; it has to be given input by the pilot or semi-active laser homing.[2]

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. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-fuel rocket motor behind the warhead.[1]

The Maverick has a modular design construction, allowing a different combination of the guidance package and warhead to be attached to the rocket motor section to produce a different weapon.[1] It has long-chord delta wings and a cylindrical body, reminiscent of the AIM-4 Falcon and the AIM-54 Phoenix.[3]


The most modern versions of the Maverick are the AGM-65H/K, which were in production as of 2007.[1] The AGM-65H was developed by coupling the AGM-65B with a charge-coupled device (CCD) seeker optimized for desert operations and which has three times the range of the original TV-sensor;[2][13] a parallel USN program aimed at rebuilding AGM-65Fs with newer CCD seekers resulted in the AGM-65J.[2] The AGM-65K, meanwhile, was developed by replacing the AGM-65G's IR guidance system with an electro-optical television guidance system.[1]

An AGM-65 test-fired against an M-48 tank (1978)

In the mid-1990s to early 2000s, there were several ideas of enhancing the Maverick's potential. Among them was the stillborn plan to incorporate the Maverick millimeter wave active radar homing, which can determine the exact shape of a target.[12] Another study called "Longhorn Project"[12] was conducted by Hughes, and later Raytheon following the absorption of Hughes into Raytheon, looked a Maverick version equipped with turbojet engines instead of rocket motors. The "Maverick ER", as it was dubbed, would have a "significant increase in range" compared to the Maverick's current range of 25 kilometres (16 mi).[13] The proposal was abandoned, but if the Maverick ER had entered production, it would have replaced the AGM-119B Penguin carried on the MH-60R.[13]

The AGM-65F is a hybrid Maverick combining the AGM-65D's IIR seeker and warhead and propulsion components of the AGM-65E.[2] Deployed by the United States Navy (USN), the AGM-65F is optimized for maritime strike roles.[2] The first AGM-65F launch from the P-3C took place in 1989, and in 1994, the USN awarded Unisys a contract to integrate the version with the P-3C.[4][11] Meanwhile, Hughes produced the AGM-65G, which essentially has the same guidance system as the D, with some software modifications that track larger targets, coupled with a shaped-charge warhead.[1]

Another major development was the AGM-65D, which employed an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker. By imaging on radiated heat, the IIR is all-weather operable as well as showing improved performance in acquiring and tracking the hot engines, such as in tanks and trucks, that were to be one of its major missions..[2] The seekerhead mechanically scanned the scene over a nitrogen-cooled 4-by-4 pixel array using a series of mirrored facets machined into the inner surface of the ring-shaped main gyroscope. The five-year development period of the AGM-65D started in 1977 and ended with the first delivery to the USAF in October 1983.[2] The version received initial operating capability in February 1986.[1]

More versions of the Maverick appeared, among which was the laser-guided AGM-65C/E. Development of the AGM-65C started in 1978 by Rockwell, who built a number of development missiles for the USAF.[2][10] Due to high cost, the version was not procured by the USAF, and instead entered service with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as the AGM-65E.[2][10]

In July 1971, the USAF and Hughes signed a $69.9 million contract for 2,000 missiles,[8] the first of which was delivered in 1972.[6] Although early operational results were favorable, military planners predicted that the Maverick would fare less successfully in the hazy conditions of Central Europe, where it would have been used against Warsaw Pact forces.[10] As such, development of the AGM-65B began in 1975 before it was delivered during the late 1970s. When production of the AGM-65A/B was ended in 1978, more than 35,000 missiles had been built.[2]

[8].New Mexico, Holloman Air Force Base target at the Air Force Missile Development Center at M41 tank with the first guided test on 18 December successfully performing a direct hit on a [9] Hughes conducted a smooth development of the AGM-65 Maverick, with the first unguided test launch from a F-4 on 18 September 1969,[8] In 1968, Hughes emerged with the $95 million contract for further development and testing of the missile; at the same time, contract options called for 17,000 missiles to be procured.[8]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.