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Monday, March 28, 2011

Army, Lockheed Launch Live Hellfire II Romeo

The U.S. Army Joint Attack Munition Systems (JAMS) Project Office and Lockheed Martin March 28 announced the successful firing of an AGM114R Hellfire II missile with a live warhead in a sixth proof-of-principle test.

The flight test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., demonstrated the missile’s enhanced software capability and performance in a “military-operations-in-urban-terrain” scenario. The multipurpose warhead design enables the missile, with a designator spot laser, to seek out and defeat hard, soft and enclosed targets. The initial fielding of the Hellfire II Romeo version is scheduled for late 2012.

The Romeo version combines capabilities of four previous Hellfire II variants into one multipurpose missile, according to Ken Musculus, Lockheed Martin director of Air-to-Ground Missile Systems. New design features include a three-axis inertial measurement unit, which enables properly equipped launch platforms to engage targets to the side and behind them without having to maneuver the aircraft into position. The missile can be launched from high or low altitudes due to its enhanced guidance system and improved navigation capabilities, optimizing the missile’s impact angle for enhanced lethality, Lockheed Martin said.

The Hellfire II Romeo integrates with all Hellfire II-compatible platforms, including the Apache, Kiowa Warrior, Cobra, Seahawk and Tiger helicopters, and can be launched autonomously or with remote designation.
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