US approves $203 million sale of Hellfire missiles for French Tiger helicopters
The US State Department has approved the FMS sale of an additional 1,515 AGM-114R2 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and related equipment to France under a deal worth an estimated $203 million. The missiles will be deployed on Tiger HAD attack helicopters.
In addition to the actual weapons, the contract includes technical assistance, publications and integration support; plus other related elements of logistical and programme support.
France selected the Lockheed Martin missile in 2007 and the new order is described by the State Department as supporting ‘the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally’.
An order was also approved in 2016 for 112 AGM-114K1A Hellfires, 102 AGM-114N1As, 50 ATM-114Q1A Hellfire Training Missiles and other equipment in a deal valued at $42 million.
Shephard Defence Insight lists France as operating 67 Tiger helicopters with the last seven ordered in 2015. The fleet has been deployed since 2009 in Afghanistan, Libya and the Sahel and has an out-of-service date of 2043.
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