Lockheed awarded $723 million Hellfire missile contract for France, Lebanon and the Netherlands

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $723 million contract modification to procure Hellfire missiles for France, Lebanon and the Netherlands, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

The $723,550,174 modification to the domestic and foreign military sales contract provides for “a variety” of AGM-114 Hellfire II missile variants for the three U.S. allies, the Defense Department said on Thursday, April 25.

The estimated completion date is September 30, 2022.

The U.S. State Department in 2015 approved a possible sale of 1,000 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and associated parts to Lebanon at an estimated cost of $146 million.

In October, Lockheed was awarded a nearly $632 million contract to procure a variety of Hellfire II missile variants for the Netherlands and Japan. The Dutch government originally requested 180 AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles and training missiles but in 2017 was approved for an additional 70 Hellfires.

The missiles are set to be deployed on the Royal Netherlands Air Force AH-54D Apache helicopters.

France has requested 112 AGM-114K1A and 102 AGM-114N1A Hellfire missiles along with training and related equipment for its Tigre Attack helicopters. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in 2016 that the missiles would come from U.S. Army stock at an estimated cost of $30 million.

Hellfire missiles

The AGM-114 Hellfire is a 100-lb-class missile that can used against armored targets, vehicles, urban structures, boats and personnel. Although originally designed for helicopters, the missile can now be launched from air, sea and ground platforms.

It features a three-axis inertial measurement unit that enables the missile to engage targets to the front, side and behind without requiring the launcher to maneuver into position.

The Hellfire II is a modular missile and has a range of up to 8 km (8,750 yards).

Most variants are equipped with semi-active laser seeker, including the AGM-114K high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), AGM-114M blast fragmentation, AGM-114N metal augmented charge.

The AGM-114R “Romeo” carries a K-charge multi-purpose warhead, enabling it to replace other variants in the U.S. inventory.

The AGM-114L, or Longbow Hellfire, is equipped with a millimeter wave radar seeker and needs no further guidance after launch. The fire-and-forget weapon can also lock-on after launch.

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