AGM-114 Hellfire Missile

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Product Type:

Air-to-Surface Missile
+ Surface-to-Surface (AGM-114R)

Using Service (US):

Army, Navy, and Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Hellfire Systems, LLC
A Lockheed Martin / Boeing Joint Venture

The AGM-114 Hellfire Air-to-Ground Missile

About the Hellfire Missile:





The AGM-114 Hellfire is a family of 100 lbs class laser guided missiles for use against fixed and moving targets by both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft including UAVs.

In 1974, the development of the Hellfire missile began with the U.S. Army's requirement for an anti-armor, helicopter launched, air-to-ground missile. On March 31, 1982, Rockwell International (now Boeing) was awarded the contract to produce the AGM-114A (initial model). The first operational missiles were delivered in late 1984 and the following year, the Hellfire missile system entered service.

The family of Hellfire missiles includes, but is not limited to, AGM-114 B/K/K2/K2A/M/N/N-5/P/P+/R variants. These variants include shaped charge warheads (B/K/K2/K2A) for use against armored targets and blast fragmentation warheads (M/N) for use against urban structures. The AGM-114N is a thermobaric blast fragmentation warhead that maintains the capability provided by the AGM-114M while adding a unique capability against confined compartmented spaces, a typical target type observed in current combat operations. Other variants include the AGM-114 K2A which has a blast frag sleeve for use against soft-skinned tactical vehicles, the N-5 which provides a trajectory shaping capability to increase endgame lethality against vertical structures, the AGM-114P/P+ variants which include high-altitude launch trajectories for use from fixed-wing aircraft (such as the KC-130J Harvest HAWK), and the R which can be used against all Hellfire targets with a single warhead.

The AGM-114L is a variant designed specifically for use on the AH-64 Apache/Apache Longbow attack helicopter. It uses a millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker. The L variant has an effective range of 0.5 to 8 km. To date, more than 14,000 AGM-114L missiles have been purchased by the U.S. Army and international customers.

The latest Hellfire variant is the AGM-114R multi–purpose Hellfire II missile, (aka Hellfire Romeo). According to the U.S. Army, the AGM-114R will replace all other Hellfire II missile configurations (K/N/M/P). The AGM-114R consolidates the capabilities of all previous Hellfire missile variants. It is equipped with semi–active laser (SAL) seekers into a single missile capable of defeating a broad range of targets. The AGM-114R can be launched from multiple air, sea and ground platforms, autonomously or with remote designation. From pre-launch to detonation, the AGM-114R employs a range of technological improvements that boost its effectiveness and utility. The AGM-114R features a three–axis inertial measurement unit, which enables properly equipped launch platforms to engage targets to the side and behind without maneuvering into position. The AGM-114R can be launched from higher altitudes than previous variants due to its enhanced guidance system and improved navigation capabilities. A new multi–purpose warhead enables the missile to defeat hard, soft and enclosed targets, which allows pilots to engage many targets with a single Hellfire loadout. The Army is currently only purchasing this variant.

Hellfire missiles are launched from Lockheed Martin/Marvin M299 and M310 missile launchers.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is currently developing the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), which will replace the Hellfire family of missiles. Unlike older missiles that use different rocket motors for fixed and rotary-wing operations, JAGM uses the same warhead across all platforms. The first JAGM missiles were purchased in FY 2017. The last year of Hellfire missile procurement is FY 2020 for the Army and FY 2022 for the Air Force.



Applications/Platforms:

Among other platforms, Hellfire missiles are used on AH-1W Super Cobra/AH–1Z Viper attack helicopters, on the AH-64 Apache/Apache Guardian (Longbow), the MH-60R and MH-60S Seahawk helicopters, the OH-58D/F Kiowa Warrior (retired), Harvest HAWK equipped KC-130Js, as well as the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-1C Gray Eagle and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs.



AGM-114 Production Forecast:

A 15-year AGM-114 production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, worldwide inventories, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year AGM-114 production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Missile Forecast service.



Mission/Role:

Provides precision-kill capability to defeat heavy, advanced armor, individual hard point and non-traditional targets.



FY 2017 & FY 2018 - AGM-114 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.




Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin Corp.,
The Boeing Company, and Orbital ATK.

By Forecast International /// Contact Us for Data Products and Consulting Services

Forecast International Budget Data:

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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