Overblog Suivre ce blog
Administration Créer mon blog
28 décembre 2015 1 28 /12 /décembre /2015 17:20
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

 

December 27, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The United States recently increased production of its AGM-114 Hellfire missile from 500 to 650 a month. Further increases are planned for 2016. The reason for this is the success Hellfire has had in fighting ISIL (al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant). Hellfire has been continually improved since the 1980s and now can hit moving targets with great precision. Since ISIL tries to stay mobile and dispersed Hellfire has turned out to be the best weapon to fight them with, especially if you want to avoid civilian casualties. It’s not just American demand for Hellfire that is causing the shortage but also the growing list of other users. Currently South Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, France, Italy and Britain have Hellfire on order and they are being told they will have to wait a bit.

 

Hellfire remains the missile with the track record that you can always depend on and more nations are realizing it. Because of that more recent smaller missiles like Griffin and 70mm guided rockets just never caught on in a big way. In service since 1984, the Hellfire missile has not only proved enormously useful in the war on terror, it has also defeated numerous efforts to replace it with something better. It didn’t help that an improved Hellfire, Hellfire II, appeared in 1994 and over 32,000 have been produced so far. These have been the most frequently used American missiles, with over 18,000 fired in training or (mostly) combat since 2001. Hellfire missiles cost about $100,000 each depending on warhead and guidance system options.

 

Britain produces a Hellfire variant, called Brimstone which is unique mainly in that it can be fire from jets. This version has become very popular as well. Hellfire was originally designed for use by helicopter gunships against masses of Cold War era Russian tanks. That never happened, except in Kuwait during the 1991 war against Russian tanks owned by Iraq. Hellfire was quite successful in Kuwait. With the end of the Cold War the Hellfire seemed destined for the history books, as just another missile that worked but never distinguished itself. This all changed in 2002 when the CIA first used a Hellfire fired from a Predator UAV to kill a hard-to-find terrorist. The U.S. Air Force wasn’t really interested in this sort of thing and the CIA used its own money and authority to buy Predator UAVs and arm them with Hellfires. It quickly became apparent that the air force was wrong about UAVs and, well, the Hellfire was an army weapon used on helicopters and the air force never considered such a combination of UAV and missile useful for anything. The army soon found that Hellfire was an excellent weapon for supporting troops in urban areas or when going after terrorists anywhere.

Repost 0
8 février 2015 7 08 /02 /février /2015 08:20
US army seeks upgrades for Hellfire missile guidance system

 

6 Feb 2015 By: Dan Parsons  - FG

 

Washington DC - The US Army has launched the bidding phase of a decade-old programme to replace the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile with a new weapon featuring a dual-mode guidance system. A request for proposals released on 2 February for the joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) contract gives potential competitors Lockheed and Raytheon up to 60 days to submit bids to the army. The navy also plans to integrate JAGM onto the Marine Corps' Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters. The programme seeks an upgrade to the guidance section of the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile’s backend, which is comprised of the motor, warhead and associated electronics. Lockheed has committed to offering a dual-mode seeker, while Raytheon has not yet committed to competing for the contract.

 

Read full article

 

Repost 0
18 février 2014 2 18 /02 /février /2014 13:20
AGM-176 Griffin missiles - photo Raytheon

AGM-176 Griffin missiles - photo Raytheon

 

February 18, 2014: Strategy Page

 

It was recently announced that 2,000 of the AGM-176 Griffin missiles had been produced so far. Since entering service in 2010 the Griffin has been pitched as a replacement for Hellfire. But only SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and the CIA have bought many, and in much smaller quantities than Hellfire, which weighs three times as much as Griffin. The U.S. Army remains the main user of Hellfire but because of frequent use on helicopter gunships. Because of the growing use of larger UAVs (like Predator and Reaper), the air force and CIA have become heavy users as well.

 

It was believed that smaller missiles would become popular because more could be carried and these (like 70mm guided rockets and Griffin) weapons contain even less explosives (limiting casualties to nearby civilians). But Hellfire remains the missile with the track record that you can always depend on and the smaller missiles just never caught on.

 

In service since 1984, the American AGM-114 Hellfire missile has not only proved enormously useful in the war on terror, it has also defeated numerous efforts to replace it with something better. It didn’t help that an improved Hellfire, Hellfire II, appeared in 1994 and over 30,000 have been produced so far. These have been the most frequently used American missiles for over a decade, with over 16,000 fired in training or (mostly) combat since 2001. A growing number of these Hellfires are for foreign customers. Hellfire missiles cost about $100,000 each depending on warhead and guidance system options. Britain produces a Hellfire variant, called Brimstone which is unique mainly in that it can be fire from jets. This version has become very popular as well.

 

Hellfire was originally designed for use by helicopter gunships against masses of Cold War era Russian tanks. That never happened, except in Kuwait during the 1991 war against Russian tanks owned by Iraq. Hellfire was quite successful in Kuwait. With the end of the Cold War the Hellfire seemed destined for the history books, as just another missile that worked but never distinguished itself. This all changed in 2002 when the CIA first used a Hellfire fired from a Predator UAV to kill a hard-to-find terrorist. The U.S. Air Force wasn’t really interested in this sort of thing and the CIA used its own money and authority to buy Predator UAVs and arm them with Hellfires. It quickly became apparent that the air force was wrong about UAVs and, well, the Hellfire was an army weapon used on helicopters and the air force never considered such a combination of UAV and missile useful for anything. The army soon found that Hellfire was an excellent weapon for supporting troops in urban areas or when going after terrorists anywhere.

 

The CIA was also the first to use smaller missiles like the Griffin on UAVs. This enabled targets to be destroyed with less risk to nearby civilians. The Griffin was created as an alternative to the Hellfire II, which weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds) and carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead and has a range of 8,000 meters. In contrast, the Griffin weighs only 16 kg (35 pounds), with a 5.9 kg (13 pound) warhead which is larger, in proportion to its size, than the one carried by the larger Hellfire missile. Griffin has a pop-out wings, allowing it to glide, and thus has a longer range (15 kilometers) than Hellfire but takes much longer to reach the target. UAVs can carry more of the smaller missiles, typically two of them in place of one Hellfire.

 

Even before Griffin hit the market there were several firms offering 70mm rockets reconfigured as guided missiles. The result was basically a 13.6 kg (30 pound) missile with a laser seeker, a 2.7 kg (six pound) warhead and a range of about six kilometers. The U.S. Marines have adopted these for use on their helicopters and the results have been satisfactory. What won the marines over was price, as the marines are always short of cash. Several European and Israeli manufacturers came up with similar smaller missiles, but none really proved all that superior to old reliable; the Hellfire.

 

All these weapons use laser designators on an aircraft, or with troops on the ground for guidance. The laser is pointed at the target and the laser seeker in the front of the missile homes on the reflected laser light. This system enables the missile to hit within a meter or so (2-10 feet) of the aiming point. On the downside fog and clouds distorts the laser and makes it unreliable.

Hellfire II missile

Hellfire II missile

Repost 0
10 septembre 2013 2 10 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
Huge Surge In RAF Reaper UAV Weapons Launches

RAF Reaper UAV - Photo: Corporal Steve Follows RAF UK MoD

 

09/09/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

Royal Air Force Reaper UAV weapons launches over Afghanistan have increased sevenfold since 2008, according to newly-published data

 

Published in early September 2013, the data confirms that, last year, the RAF's Reaper fleet was involved in 892 flights over Afghanistan. During 92 of these sorties, missiles were fired, meaning such events occurred during over 10 per cent of the flights total.

 

In contrast, a total of 296 RAF Reaper MALE (medium altitude long endurance) UAV missions were staged during 2008, of which circa five per cent involved weapons being fired.

 

Deployed against suspected militant forces located in Afghanistan, the RAF's Reapers can be equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles: a capability first revealed in June 2008. Under the United States' control, UAVs operating in Afghan skies have proved highly controversial. While having successfully engaged with intended targets, the same unmanned platforms have reportedly also killed dozens of innocent civilians.

 

RAF Reaper Weapons Launches

 

According to officials, five different UK Armed Forces UAVs are presently deployed in Afghanistan. Of these, the RAF's Reapers are the only UAVs able to carry and launch weapons.

 

The type, said one RAF representative, has: "played a vital role supporting military operations [and]...saved countless UK and allied forces lives by providing essential intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and precision weapons in support of coalition forces on group operations."

 

Previously known as the Predator B, the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper made its first flight in February 2001 and entered service on 1 May 2007. To date, 57 examples have been produced, each one costing in the region of $16.9 million.

 

RAF Reaper UAVs

 

Reaper MALE UAVs currently equip three nations - Italy, the US and the UK. The Royal Air Force's Reapers UAVs serve two squadrons: No. 39 Squadron and No. 13 Squadron.

 

Powered by a single Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine generating 900 horsepower, the Reaper has a top speed of 300 miles per hour, a range of 1,150 miles and an endurance of 14 hours in its heaviest configuration. Reapers can fly at up to 50,000 feet but typically operate at around 25,000 feet and, equipped with seven weapons hardpoints, they can carry up to AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles.

Repost 0

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

Categories