UK MoD orders additional Hellfire missiles
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that it has ordered additional supersonic Hellfire missiles for the British Army’s Apache helicopter fleet. The £15 million contract is a foreign military sale with the US government, with the order to be fulfilled by Hellfire manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.
The 100lb Hellfire precision missile is the Apache’s primary weapon. The missile was successfully used during the Libya campaign when Apaches flew from the deck of HMS Ocean. It has also seen use in Afghanistan.
Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology, said: ‘Hellfire has proved itself in Afghanistan and Libya, providing our Apache crews with state of the art precision firepower. This order will ensure the Apache’s attack capability remains in place for current and future operations.’
Col Andy Cash, Commander of the Apache Force, added: ‘The Hellfire missile has undoubtedly saved the lives of British and Afghan soldiers in Afghanistan and played an important role in the air campaign in Libya. It is an extremely reliable missile and without doubt the weapon of choice for the Apache pilot and ground force commander.’
Each Apache can carry up to 16 Hellfires which are mounted in sets of four beneath the helicopter's stub-wing pylons. Each missile has its own guidance computer, steering control and propulsion system which helps to ensure precision targeting.
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