AGM-114 Hellfire Missile

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 and 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 the Lockheed Martin-produced M299 and M310 missile launchers.

The versatility of the Hellfire missile makes it a key weapon in ongoing operations overseas.

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 will be purchased in FY 2017. The last year of Hellfire missile procurement is FY 2019 for the Army and FY 2020 for the Air Force.



Applications/Platforms:

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



Price/Unit Cost:

In FY 2015, the average unit cost of Hellfire missiles (All-Up Round) purchased by the Army and Air Force is $99,600 (per All-Up Round).



Mission/Role:

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



FY 2015 DoD Program:

In FY 2015, the DoD will purchase a total of 1,729 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles for the Air Force (1,498) and Army (231) Procurement funds in the amount of $205.9 million have been allocated to the program.



FY 2016 DoD Program:

In FY 2016, the DoD expects a sharp increase in the number of Hellfire missiles purchased. The DoD plans to purchase a total of 5,950 missiles for the Air Force (5,567) and Army (383) Procurement funds in the amount of $769.2 million have been allocated to the program. Multiple variants (K, L, M, N, P, R, R-2, R9B, R9E etc.) of the Hellfire missile may be procured.

For more information, please see budget figures and PDF downloads below.




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

Specifications Platforms DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: April 8, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



Lockheed Martin: AGM-114 Hellfire Missile

YouTube: AGM-114 Hellfire | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: AGM-114R Hellfire II Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: HELLFIRE Rocket Motor

AGM-114 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the AGM-114 Hellfire Missile

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

AGM-114 Hellfire Purchases (USAF) AGM-114 Hellfire Purchases (NAVY)
AGM-114 Hellfire Purchases (ARMY)
Specifications

Missile Specifications: AGM-114 Hellfire

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Primary Function: Air-to-surface and surface-to-surface point target/anti-armor missile
Prime Contractor: Hellfire Systems, LLC - A Boeing - Lockheed Martin Joint Venture
Propulsion: ATK (now Orbital ATK) solid propellant rocket motor (IM HELLFIRE Propulsion System);
AGM-114A: ATK M120E3; AGM-114B: ATK M120E4; AGM-114L: ATK M120E4
Length: 5.33 ft (1.62 m); AGM-114L: 5.77 ft (1.76 m)
Diameter: 7 in (17.8 cm)
Wingspan: 28 in (0.71 m)
Weight: 98 to 109 lbs (44.5 to 49.4 kg); AGM-114R: 109 lbs (49.4 kg)
Speed: Subsonic
Range: AGM-114 K/L/M/N: 4.97 miles (8,000 m)
AGM-114R fired at 3,000 ft (914 m):
4.97 miles (8,000 m) - LOAL, high trajectory
4.41 miles (7,100 m) - LOAL, low/direct trajectory
Guidance: Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker; AGM-114L: Millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker
Warhead: AGM-114 A/C/F/K/K-2/L/P/P+: Shaped charge warhead
AGM-114F-A/K-2A/P-2A: Shaped charge warhead with frag sleeve
AGM-114M/N: Blast fragmentation warhead (AGM-114N is a thermobaric version with metal augmentation charge)
AGM-114R: Multi-purpose Integrated Blast Frag Sleeve (IBFS) warhead
Platforms:
AH-1W Super Cobra/AH–1Z Viper
AH-64A/D Apache/AH-64E Apache Guardian
MH-60R Seahawk Multi-Mission Helicopter
MH-60S Seahawk Fleet Combat Support Helicopter
OH-58 Kiowa Warrior
KC-130J Harvest HAWK
MQ-1 Predator
MQ-1C Gray Eagle
MQ-9 Reaper
Price/Unit Cost:
$68,000-98,000 (in FY 2012) - price depends on variant
AGM-114R Hellfire II Romeo: $102,300 per All-Up Round (in FY 2014)
AGM-114 Hellfire (average unit cost): $99,600 per All-Up Round (in FY 2015)
Deployed: 1985 (production started in 1982)

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