Kuwait Considers Buying AGM-114R3 Hellfire Missiles Worth $49 Million
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified U.S. Congress June 26 of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government Kuwait of 300 AGM-114R3 HELLFIRE II missiles and associated equipment and support. The estimated cost is $49 million.
The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale 300 AGM-114R3 HELLFIRE II missiles, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, repair and return support, training equipment and personnel training, U.S. Government and contractor logistics, Quality Assurance Team support services, engineering and technical support, and other related elements of program support. The estimated cost is $49 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.
Kuwait intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing Air Force architecture to counter threats posed by potential attack. This proposed sale will also contribute to Kuwait’s military goal of updating its capability while further enhancing its interoperability with the U.S. and other allies. This capability will serve to deter potential attacks against strategic targets across Kuwait, to include infrastructure and resources vital to the security of the U.S.
The proposed sale of this weapon system will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractor is Lockheed Martin Corporation in Orlando, Florida. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Kuwait.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
The AGM-114 HELLFIRE (HELicopter Launched FIRE and forget) is a missile system designed to defeat enemy armoured units with minimal risks to the launching aircraft. Its development starts in 1974 with requirments from US Army for a "Tank-Buster" weapon that can be launched from Helicopters. The Missile was first operational in 1982 as AGM-114A, whilst the improved variant: Hellfire II entered service in 1990s. The Hellfire has two kinds of guidance-The first three generations uses Laser guidance with active terminal homing whereas the fourth generation (AGM-114L) uses radar guidance.
The AGM-114L, a variant developed specifically for AH-64D (As shown in the game) uses Milimeter Wave Radar, and has active radar guidance. Allowing it to be launched as a fire-and-forget weapon, enabling the crew to take evasive actions once the missile has been launched, thus increasing the chance of survival.
It is proven to be very effective in combat as shown in combat operations over Panama, Balkan, and Iraq. Its small warhead also helps to reduce risks of collateral damage in tight urban environments whilst being able to deal a lethal blow to the enemy tank. It even scored an aerial kill in 2001 when a civilian Cessna 152 was shot down by an Israeli Air Force AH-64A after the plane ignored several warnings from the ATC. Fearing it was a terrorist attack, the helicopter shot the plane down, killing the pilot in the process.
Source: WASHINGTON, 29 June 2012 - Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) News
Photo: The Kuwait Air Force AGM-114R3 Hellfire Missiles (Photo by electrosphere.acecombatskies.com)