UK-Built Lockheed Martin Hellfire II Missiles Score 9 for 9 in First Article Tests
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FL, 30-MAY-00 --
In a convincing demonstration of successful technology transfer, 9 Hellfire II missiles built in the United Kingdom scored direct hits in first article tests conducted last week at Eglin Air Force Base. Shorts Missile Systems, Belfast, Northern Ireland, builds the missiles under a subcontract agreement with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Hunting Engineering Ltd is the Prime Contractor for supply of anti-armor missiles to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. This is the first time the US Army's primary anti-armor missiles have been produced outside the United States, and the first article tests confirm successful transfer of US Hellfire II technology. The missiles are the primary air-to-ground weapon systems of the WAH-64 Apache helicopter, which will provide the British Army with unparalleled anti-armor capability.
Over a three-day period, the Lockheed Martin test team successfully launched 9 UK Hellfire II First Article Test (FAT) missiles. Seven missiles were flown in lock on after launch (LOAL) mode and two in lock on before launch (LOBL) mode. Three missiles flown at ambient temperature scored direct hits on target plates at ranges of 7.1, 5.1, and 3.4 km. Three missiles flown at hot temperature and three additional missiles that were conditioned cold also scored direct hits on the target plates at the same ranges. These initial Hellfire II missiles built in the UK had previously completed FAT ground tests at Redstone Arsenal.
As part of the UK Apache Helicopter Program, Lockheed Martin transferred state-of-the-art anti-armor missile production technology to Shorts and other component subcontractors. Shorts also provides final assembly of both missiles. Lockheed Martin technology transfer also enabled missile component production at Hunting Engineering (Ampthill, England), Royal Ordnance (Glascoed, Wales), Raytheon Electronics Systems (Glenrothes, Scotland), and several other engineering and manufacturing companies. The companies now provide key Hellfire II subsystems that are installed into the Shorts-produced missiles. Production under the current missile contract will be complete in 2003.
Known as the Apache's Edge, Hellfire II is a principal armament for WAH-64 Apache attack helicopters serving British Army and seven other allied forces. Hellfire II is designed to counter ground and naval threats well into the 21st century.
Located in Dallas, Tx. and Orlando, Fla., Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, a world leader in electro-optics, smart munitions, advanced combat, missile, rocket and space systems, is an operating element of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business unit based in Bethesda, Maryland.