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Hellfire II missile with live warhead scores a hit

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A file photo of the Hellfire II missile being fired from an attack helicopter. A Lockheed Photo

ORLANDO (BNS): Lockheed Martin-designed AGM 114R Hellfire II multi-platform missile scored a success when it was tested-launched carrying a live warhead for the first time.

The R (Romeo) model of the Hellfire, equipped with the multi-purpose warhead, was test launched “to cover all the target sets of the currently fielded laser-guided variants,” Lockheed said.

The second ‘proof-of-principle’ flight test of the missile system was conducted at the Eglin Air Force Base, Florida and it featured a lock-on-after-launch engagement of a stationary target board.

The ground-based target, lying at a distance of 2.5 km, was illuminated by a ground-based laser designator. The multi-purpose warhead was set with a delayed fuze, allowing the missile to penetrate the target before detonating.

While the precursor warhead detonated on impact, the primary warhead successfully detonated a short distance beyond the target, Lockheed said. The missile, fired from a low trajectory suitable for a military operation in urban terrain scenario, hit its pre-designated target.

Besides the multi-purpose warhead, the R model of Hellfire features electronic safe, arm and fire (ESAF) module that renders it the pilot-programmable delayed fuezing capability.

The AGM-114 Hellfire is a multi-platform, multi-target air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile system. The weapon can be mounted on fixed-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, attack helicopters, ships, ground vehicles and tripods.

The AGM 114R variant of Hellfire has been designed to take on hard, soft and enclosed targets such as bunkers, light vehicles, urban/soft targets, caves etc.

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