The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 395 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles to the United Kingdom for an estimated cost of $46 million.
The sale will be executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 26.
The Government of the United Kingdom has earlier requested to buy 395 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles. Also included is technical assistance, publications, integration support, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The newly procured missiles will replace British Armed Forces’ expiring and unserviceable missiles and maintaining capability to execute missions across a full range of military operations. The prime contractor of the possible sale will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, Orlando, Florida.
The DSCA statement said that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.
The AGM-114 Hellfire (AGM stands for air-to-ground missile) is an air-to-surface missile (ASM) first developed for anti-armor use, but later models were developed for precision drone strikes against other target types, and have been used in a number of actions aimed to “destroy High-value targets.
The missile was originally developed under the name Heliborne laser, fire-and-forget missile, which led to the colloquial name “Hellfire” ultimately becoming the missile’s formal name. It has multi-mission, multi-target precision-strike ability, and can be launched from multiple air, sea, and ground platforms, including the Predator drone.
The Hellfire missile is the primary 100-pound (45 kg) class air-to-ground precision weapon for the armed forces of the United States and many other nations.