Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The AGM-114 Hellfire missile

One of the most advanced U.S. missiles was unintentionally shipped to Cuba in 2014. The Hellfire missile was supposed to be sent to Europe for a training mission.

The AGM-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile developed for precision strikes, usually against high value targets. It was originally developed under the name Helicopter Launched, Fire and Forget Missile, which led to the colloquial name 'Hellfire' It equips, among other weapons platforms, the U.S. military's Predator drones.

Shipping such a sophisticated weapon to a communist dictatorship with which the U.S. at the time didn't have diplomatic relations and has been under U.S. embargo for a half-century would be among the worst mistakes of its kind in U.S. military history.
The U.S. doesn't know what Cuba did with the missing missile and U.S. officials also don't know whether the mistake was an innocent shipping error, or something nefarious.

The weapon costs at least $ 100,000.

The UAE's AH-64D Apache is one of four types that can fire AGM-114 Hellfire missiles
On May 18, 2016 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) suggested the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had used large numbers of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles during its military operation in Yemen when it said on 13 May that the State Department had approved an Emirati request for another 4,000 missiles. The DSCA said the 4,000 AGM-114R/K missiles were estimated to be worth 468 million and will be delivered in increments of at least 1,000 missiles over the next three years.

The AGM-114K has an armour-penetrating warhead, while the AGM-114R is a multipurpose missile that combines the AGM-114K's anti-armour capability with the blast/fragmentation effect of the AGM-114M and the thermobaric effect of the AGM-114N. The UAE would use the missiles to "strengthen its homeland defence".