The AGM-65 Maverick is a tactical, air-to-surface guided missile designed for close air support, interdiction and defense suppression mission. It provides stand-off capability and high probability of strike against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, transportation equipment and fuel storage facilities.
AGM-65A: the baseline model using TV guidance. After launch, the AGM-65A homes on the target by constantly matching the TV camera image to the locked target image.
AGM-65B: used scene-magnifying optics doubling the image resolution. This allowed the engagement of smaller or more distant targets.
AGM-65C: it was to be a semi-active laser guided version for the U.S. Marine Corps. It was intended for close air support, and was equipped with a heavier blast-fragmentation warhead. The program was eventually cancelled because of high costs.
AGM-65D: called the "IIR Maverick", it is a derivative of the AGM-65A and replaces the its TV guidance section with a WGU-10/B imaging infrared (IIR) seeker (the same seeker is also used in the GBU-15(V)2/B glide bomb and the AGM-84E SLAM). This seeker had almost twice the lock-on range of the AGM-65A, and allowed effective use of the missile at night or in bad weather.
The AGM-65F, called the "IIR Maverick", was developed for the U.S. Navy. It uses the IIR seeker of the AGM-65D in combination with the warhead and propulsion sections of the AGM-65E. It also features a SAD (Safing/Arming Device) for safer shipboard use. The missile's seeker software was slightly modified to better engage surface ships.
The AGM-65G is an improved "IIR Maverick" for the U.S. Air Force. It is based on the AGM-65D, but uses the heavy warhead and fuze of the AGM-65E/F because it is especially designed for use against hardened tactical targets. The AGM-65G also has a new digital autopilot and improved tracking and target selection options. The new autopilot allows the operator to select a lower trajectory to prevent break of lock in clouds.
The IIR seeker of the AGM-65D had some problems during Operation Desert Storm, because of thermal clutter in the excessive heat of the desert. Therefore, the USAF decided to field a Maverick with a modern TV-guidance section using a new CCD seeker, which would give remanufactured missiles higher reliability, higher lock-on range and better low-light performance. The designation AGM-65H was assigned to AGM-65B/D missiles upgraded with this new CCD seeker.