Hellfire II Anti-Armour Missile

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Hellfire II Anti-Armour Missile

The HELLFIRE II is a semi active laser guided anti-armour missile, along with urban point targets with the system of excellent electro-optical counter measures. It has multiple launching platforms, which range from air, sea or even ground units, autonomously and even remote designation.

Since the development of the Hellfire II Missile it has seen massive use in the fight against global terrorism, the Hellfire II missile has over 2,950 successfully fired rounds from the Apache and Cobra attack helicopters, Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and other platforms.
Helicopter With Hellfire
The tripod enables surface launch of any HELLFIRE® II semi-active laser-guided precision-strike missile (available in three variants – high explosive anti-tank [HEAT], blast fragmentation, and metal augmented charge [MAC] – for multi-mission capability).
Hellfire II On A Tripod
The Manned HELLFIRE Turret System (MHTS) brings attack helicopter capability to ground combat.
Hellfire II Fired From A (MHTS)

This outstandingly successful combat-effective weaponry hosts precision kill technology against high-value armour, air defence, ship, waterborne, and non-moving targets. Each missile has two options for its lock on effect which are lock-on before or lock-on after which increases platform survivability.

Hellfire missile being shot from a helicopter.
Hellfire Missile Launch
Ready and armed hellfire missiles on a attack helicopter.
Missiles Loaded Onto Helicopter
Attack helicopter firing a hellfire II missile.
Black Attack Helicopter

Variants of the Hellfire Missile

There are three variants of the HELLFIRE missile, each optimised for a different application.

High Explosive Anti Armour Warhead

The first variant is the AGM-114k. This houses a high-explosive anti-armour (HEAT) shaped-charged warhead, which destroys even the most sophisticated armoured vehicles.

AGM-114M

The second type of HELLFIRE missile, which is known as the AGM-114M. This houses a warhead with blast fragmentation technology which is the perfect weaponry against bunkers, light armoured vehicles, and urban targets.

Metal Augmented Charge Warhead

The third type of missile is the AGM-114N, this type of missile has a metal augmented charge (MAC) warhead, which allows highly effective punishment against ships, caves and bunkers. This missile allows minimal collateral damage.

All three of the variant HELLFIRE Missiles can be carried on and fired from the all-digital M229 language, thus enabling the capability to engage multiple enemy targets at once. The AGM-114L Longbow HELLFIRE missile houses a MMV sensor along with a HEAT warhead, allowing the fire-and-forget alongside the all weather capability against armoured targets.

Joint Common Missile

The Hellfire II Missiles (and the Maverick) were going to be replaced by the (JCM) Joint Common Missile around 2011. The technology that would be used in the JCM would have been the tri-mode seeker and a multi-purpose warhead, which would combine all the capabilities of the several Hellfire Missiles.

The FY2006 budget for the US Department of Defence had cancelled a number of projects; the JCM was one of them. There are still a few military and industry sources that believe (and claim to have data showing) that the JCM is more cost-effective, allowing performance for multiple platforms to meet projected threat growth.

Hellfire Missile Deployments

The most common users for the Hellfire II missile are:

  • Australia
  • Egypt
  • Greece
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Hellfire Missiles since their use within the field, have proven their effectiveness in combat with such operations as “Just Cause” in Panama, “Desert Storm”, “Enduring Freedom”, and the most recent one being “Iraqi Freedom” having been launched from Apache and Cobra Attack helicopters.

Hellfire II Missile Properties
Range 0.5 - 8+ km
Guidance Semi-active laser seeker
Warhead HEAT, Blast Fragmentation, and MAC
Platforms Helicopters, UAVs, tripod, boats, vehicles (from pedestal-mounted to full integration)
AGM-114k (HEAT)
Weight 45 kg (99 lb)
Length 163 cm (64 in)
Diameter 17.8 cm (7 in)
AGM-114M (Blast Frag)
Weight 48 kg (105 lb)
Length 163 cm (64 in)
Diameter 17.8 cm (7 in)
AGM-114N (MAC)
Weight 48 kg (105 lb)
Length 163 cm (64 in)
Diameter 17.8 cm (7 in)
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