$90M for Hellfire II MissilesMay 02, 2005 04:24 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Lockheed Martin has received a $90 million contract modification for continued production of the combat-proven Hellfire air-to-ground missile. The latest order includes 900 semi-active laser-guided Hellfire II metal augmented charge (MAC) thermobaric warhead missiles, 180 high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) missiles, conversion of 100 HEAT missiles to the MAC warhead configuration, and training missiles, along with corresponding training and support packages.
Hellfire II is available in in the following configurations:
- The AGM-114K (HEAT), used against armored targets;
- The AGM-114M (blast fragmentation version), which is more effective effective against ships, caves, light-armored vehicles, buildings, bunkers, and other urban targets;
- The AGM-114N (MAC) thermobaric round, used against enclosed structures. “thermobaric” warheads are also referred to as fuel air explosives, and are used in the famous “Daisy Cutter” bombs. The thermobaric warhead exchanges some “hard target” capabilities for the ability to launch devastating anti-personnel strikes that can wipe out out bunkers, enemies in buildings, et. al. with incredibly intense heat and overpressure that fills these spaces and kills those inside.
- The AGM-114L, or Longbow Hellfire developed for use on the AH-64D Apache Longbow, uses the HEAT warhead and a millimeter wave seeker for adverse weather and fire-and-forget capabilities.
All four versions have been used in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with over 1,000 Hellfire II and Longbow Hellfire rounds fired by U.S. and allied troops. According to the U.S. Army Hellfire II Durability Field Report from Operation Iraqi Freedom, durability has been excellent under difficult conditions.
The Hellfire Buy 11 contract extends production of the precision-strike Hellfire well into 2007 at Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing plants in Ocala, FL (seeker electronics), and Troy, AL (missile final assembly). The MAC thermobaric warhead will be manufactured at the Alliant Techsystems facility in Rocket Center, WV, and shipped to Lockheed Martin for integration with the missile.
With more than 18,000 rounds produced for the U.S. and 14 international customers, Hellfire has been successfully integrated with every leading attack helicopter in the U.S. and Allied fleets. It is approved for international sales both through the foreign military sales system and direct commercial sales.
See Spacewar.com: U.S. Army Awards $90 Million Hellfire 2 Contract To Lockheed Martin