ORLANDO, FL. --- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a direct commercial sale contract by Eurocopter to support integration of the Hellfire II precision-strike missile and all-digital M299 “smart” missile launcher on the Hélicoptère d'Appui Destruction (HAD) Tiger attack helicopter. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The 54-month integration effort includes training missiles, inert missiles, 80 M299 missile launchers and test equipment. Under provisions of the contract, integration activities will occur at the Eurocopter facility in Marignane, France, with ground tests beginning in October 2007 and flight tests in March 2008. Eurocopter awarded the contract to Lockheed Martin in support of its HAD Tiger integration contract with the multi-national European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation.
“Integrating the semi-active laser guided Hellfire II missile and M299 missile launcher on the HAD Tiger attack helicopter will provide our European allies increased versatility and lethality to defend their interests at home and abroad,” said Andy Marshall, international program manager for Air-to-Ground Missile Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We’re committed to working with Eurocopter to ensure a smooth and successful integration effort.”
Hellfire II is already successfully integrated and qualified on the Australian Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger helicopter. In a comprehensive flight test program at Woomera Testing Range in South Australia, from May to December 2005, Hellfire was 7-for-7 over a wide spectrum of engagement scenarios. In August 2006, France’s Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (DGA) launched Hellfire from an Australian Tiger at the Woomera Range. The first-time gunner, a French pilot, employing a lock-on-before-launch technique, scored a direct hit with the Hellfire II missile on a target six kilometers away.
“These test firings and successful target engagements illustrated the ease of training a Hellfire gunner and further demonstrated the reliability and mission success of the Hellfire missile and its M299 ‘smart’ launcher,” Marshall added. “Together, Hellfire II and the M299 give the Tiger a capability that no other air-to-ground missile can match.”
Hellfire II is fielded to the U.S. Armed Forces and the armed forces of 14 other nations by Hellfire Systems, Limited Liability Company (HSLLC). Lockheed Martin performs all of the work scope on behalf of HSLLC.
The Hellfire II family includes three warhead variations to defeat a broad target set – (1) the high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) missile, or AGM-114K, which defeats all known and projected armored threats; (2) the AGM-114M blast fragmentation missile, which defeats “soft” targets such as boats, buildings, bunkers and light-armored vehicles; and (3) the metal augmented charge (MAC) missile, or AGM-114N, which defeats enclosures, caves and enemy personnel housed therein – all with minimal collateral damage.
“These three variants, along with Hellfire’s precision-strike capability, will enable Tiger pilots to apply lethal force to a wide range of targets, with minimal collateral damage,” Marshall said.
Additionally, the Hellfire II family includes the Longbow Hellfire (AGM-114L). Equipped with a HEAT warhead, the Longbow Hellfire has a millimeter-wave radar seeker for true fire-and-forget and adverse-weather capability.
Hellfire II has been launched from a wide array of platforms, including the U.S. Army’s Apache (AH-64A and AH-64D), the U.S. Marine Corps’ Cobra (AH-1W and AH-1Z), and the UK’s Apache (AH MK1) attack helicopters; the U.S. Navy’s Seahawk armed reconnaissance helicopter (SH-70B); the U.S. Army’s Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter (OH-58D); and the U.S. Air Force’s Predator unmanned aerial vehicle.
With more than 21,000 rounds delivered – 3,000 of those expended in the Global War on Terrorism – Hellfire II is licensed for international sales, via government-to-government or direct commercial sales contracts.
The M299 launcher weighs 145 pounds and supports four Hellfire II or Longbow Hellfire missiles. Its ability to fire multiple missile variants in any sequence provides maximum operational flexibility on the battlefield.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.