Naval Air: October 14, 2000

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Lockheed Martin is delivering the first of 100 AGM-114M Hellfire-II anti-ship missiles to the US Navy and expects to see a broad export market. (Turkey has ordered 84, and the Japanese and South Koreans are serious possibilities.) A modified version of the Hellfire anti-tank missile, the anti-ship version has a 12.5kg blast warhead inside a pre-fragmented steel case. The warhead includes incendiary pellets to start fires. The weapon is designed the penetrate the outer shell of the target and then detonate. It can sink any warship up to 500 tons and disable warships up to 700 tons. That would pretty much cover any existing fast attack craft, landing craft, or minesweeper. It would also be effective against unarmored vehicles and buildings on shore. The Navy plans to mount its missiles on SeaHawk and AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters. The company says that the weapon could be fired from light armored vehicles, fast attack craft, coastal defense batteries, or even man-portable tripod launchers.--Stephen V Cole 

 


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