A £15 million contract to replenish the Army’s stock of supersonic Hellfire missiles used by Apache helicopters has been signed by the Ministry of Defence.
The 100lb Hellfire precision missile is the Apache’s primary weapon. Used by crews in Afghanistan, it also proved itself repeatedly during the Libya campaign when Apaches flew from the deck of HMS Ocean against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.
It’s successful use in Afghanistan and in training has reduced UK stocks of the missiles, which is why the MoD has signed an order for more Hellfires.
Each Apache can carry up to 16 Hellfires which are mounted in sets of four beneath the helicopters stub-wing pylons. Each missile has its own guidance computer, steering control and propulsion system which helps to ensure precision targeting.
The air-to-ground missile can accelerate at up to 425 meters per second– which means it takes fewer than 20 seconds to reach a target at its maximum range of five miles.
Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology Philip Dunne 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.”
Colonel Andy Cash, Commander of the Apache Force said: “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.”
Original Article by and Sourced from – www.army.mod.uk