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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.

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5 novembre 2015 4 05 /11 /novembre /2015 17:55
200 Hellfire pour les Tigre français, ça coûte 30 millions de dollars

EC665 Tigre HAD, équipé de 2 missiles Hellfire– photo André BOUR HelicoPassion

 

04.11.2015 par Philippe Chapleau – Lignes de Défense

 

Feu vert US à une vente de 200 missiles air-sol Hellfire pour équiper les Tigre de l'Alat. La Defense Security Cooperation Agency a annoncé ce soir [4 nov.] cette vente "probable". Ces missiles proviendront des stocks de l'US Army.

 

WASHINGTON, Nov 4, 2015 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of France for Hellfire Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $30 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 3, 2015. The Government of France has requested a possible sale of two-hundred (200) AGM-114K1A Hellfire Missiles; Hellfire Missile conversion kits; blast fragmentation sleeves and installation kits; containers; and transportation. The estimated cost of MDE is $25 million. The total estimated cost is $30 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the capability of a NATO ally. France is a major political and economic power in Europe and a key democratic partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability around the world. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist France to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. The additional missiles will meet France's operational requirements for a precisionguided tactical missile for its Tigre Attack Helicopter. The purchase will directly support French forces actively engaged in operations in Mali and Northern Africa, providing them the capability to successfully engage targets with minimal collateral damage. France will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. There is no principal contractor for this sale as the missiles are coming from U.S. Army stock. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives in France. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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4 novembre 2015 3 04 /11 /novembre /2015 17:20
Tigre HAD, équipé de 2 missiles Hellfire– photo André BOUR HelicoPassion

Tigre HAD, équipé de 2 missiles Hellfire– photo André BOUR HelicoPassion

 

Nov 4, 2015 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)

 

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of France for Hellfire Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $30 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 3, 2015.

 

The Government of France has requested a possible sale of two-hundred (200) AGM-114K1A Hellfire Missiles; Hellfire Missile conversion kits; blast fragmentation sleeves and installation kits; containers; and transportation. The estimated cost of MDE is $25 million. The total estimated cost is $30 million.

 

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the capability of a NATO ally. France is a major political and economic power in Europe and a key democratic partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability around the world. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist France to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.

 

The additional missiles will meet France's operational requirements for a precisionguided tactical missile for its Tigre Attack Helicopter. The purchase will directly support French forces actively engaged in operations in Mali and Northern Africa, providing them the capability to successfully engage targets with minimal collateral damage. France will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.

 

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

 

There is no principal contractor for this sale as the missiles are coming from U.S. Army stock. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

 

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives in France.

 

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

 

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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1 juillet 2015 3 01 /07 /juillet /2015 12:30
RAF strike on ISIL vehicle in Iraq June 26

 

1 juil. 2015 by DefenceHQ

 

On Friday 26 June, a Reaper on patrol over western Iraq located an engineering vehicle, used by ISIL to construct defences in the area. Despite the efforts to conceal the vehicle, the Reaper was able to destroy the target with a Hellfire missile.

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 07:20
Hellfire Away

 

source Strategy Page


An AGM-114B Hellfire missile is launched from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight (HSC-8), during a live fire exercise in San Clemente, Calif., Feb. 4, 2015. HSC-8 provides vertical lift Search and Rescue, Logistics, Anti-Surface Warfare, Special Operations Forces Support, and Combat Search and Rescue capabilities for Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) in support of the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and Carrier Strike Group Eleven (CSG-11) operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/Released)

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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

 

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Air Weapons: Turkish Hellfire

 

April 6, 2014:  Strategy Page

 

Turkey recently conducted a successful test of its Hellfire clone, the Mizrak-U. With a range of 8 kilometers the Turkish missile can use either an infrared imaging guidance system or laser homing. Turkey becomes one of a growing list of nations that have produced their own version of the Hellfire. 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. Several other countries, like China, have produced missiles similar in weight, size and capabilities to the Hellfire. Now Turkey is doing so as well.

 

The American AGM-114 Hellfire missile entered service since 1984 and proved enormously useful in the war on terror. An improved Hellfire II appeared in 1994 and over 30,000 have been produced so far. The Hellfire II weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds), carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead and has a range of 8,000 meters. 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.

 

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.

 

Turkey plans to use Mizrak-U on its new T129 helicopter gunship. This aircraft is based on the Italian A129 which is roughly comparable to the upgraded versions of the U.S. AH-1 (especially the AH-1W SuperCobra). The 4.6 ton A-129 was the first helicopter gunship designed and built in Western Europe and was introduced in the 1980s. While it has been upgraded frequently, the only customer so far has been Italy, which bought 60 of them. The manufacturer, Agusta/Westland, has been desperate to get an export customer and made a deal for Turkey to produce over a hundred T129s under license.

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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

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 16:10
UK - HELLFIRE Missiles

Apr 18, 2013 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress April 16 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom for 500 AGM-114-N4/P4 HELLFIRE missiles. The estimated cost is $95 million.

This program will directly contribute to the U.S. foreign and national security policies by enhancing the close air support capability of the United Kingdom in support of NATO, ISAF, and other coalition operations. Common close air support capabilities greatly increases interoperability between our two countries’ military and peacekeeping forces and allow for greater burden sharing.

The proposed sale will support the UK’s ability to meet current and future threats by providing close air support to counter enemy attacks on coalition ground forces in Afghanistan. The UK, which already has HELLFIRE missiles in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation of Orlando, Florida. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the United Kingdom.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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Published by RP Defense - dans USA UK Defence Hellfire Missile
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10 janvier 2013 4 10 /01 /janvier /2013 17:20
US Army fields first AH-64E unit, but more improvements to come

 

Jan. 10, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - Even as the US Army moves forward with fielding its first unit of Boeing AH-64E Block III attack helicopters, the service is planning to add further improvements to the Apache gunship.

 

"Right now, we are currently fielding the first unit equipped, our FUE [first unit equipped] unit, with Echo-models, and we're on track to meet that fielding schedule," says Col Jeff Hager, the army's Apache programme manager.

 

Hager adds that Boeing has delivered 28 of 51 low-rate initial production AH-64Es that it is contracted to build. This year, the company will start producing full-rate production aircraft for an eventual total of 634 helicopters.

 

But even as the AH-64E transitions into full-rate production, some systems engineering work remains, Hager says. The changes, which will come in production Lots 4 through 6, include better embedded diagnostics for improved maintenance. The Apache will also gain the Link-16 data-link, which is typically found on fixed-wing combat aircraft. It will also be afforded improvements to its mast-mounted Northrop Grumman APG-78 Longbow fire control radar, which will improve range and add overwater capability.

 

Hager says that the army has not quite decided how the overwater capability would be used, but he says the Longbow radar in concert with the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile could be used to attack landing craft or small warships. In the future, active electronically scanned array radar could be added to the aircraft.

 

Another addition will be the cognitive decision aiding system (CDAS), Hager says. CDAS is designed "to help the pilot and the crew with some of those tasks that tend to get a little cumbersome at times," he says. "It'll help him in those tasks in specific."

 

The army also intends to support Boeing's efforts to sell the Apache overseas, Hager says. Boeing's attack helicopter vice president, Dave Koopersmith, says that the company has seen an uptick in interest internationally for the Apache recently. "We have more demand signals for this dominant capability in this attack helicopter space," he says.

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