News story: Apache Hellfire missiles restocked in £15 million deal

Ministry of Defence said:
The 100-pound (45kg) Hellfire precision missile is Apache’s primary weapon. Used by crews in Afghanistan, it also proved itself repeatedly during the Libya campaign when Apaches flew from the deck of HMS Ocean against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

An Apache attack helicopter of 656 Squadron Army Air Corps fires a Hellfire missile during an exercise (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Guy Pool, Crown copyright]Its successful use in Afghanistan and in training has reduced UK stocks of the missiles, which is why MOD has signed an order for more Hellfires.
Each Apache can carry up to 16 Hellfires, which are mounted in sets of 4 beneath the helicopter’s stub-wing pylons. Each missile has its own guidance computer, steering control and propulsion systems, which help to ensure precision targeting.

A vehicle is destroyed by a Hellfire missile fired by a British Army Apache helicopter during operations in Libya in 2011 (library image) [Picture: Crown copyright]The air-to-surface missile can accelerate at up to 425 metres per second; which means it takes fewer than 20 seconds to reach a target 5 miles away.
Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
Hellfire has proved itself in Afghanistan and Libya, providing our Apache crews with state-of-the-art precision firepower. This order will ensure the Apache’s attack capability remains in place for current and future operations.
Colonel Andy Cash, Commander of the Apache Force, said:
The Hellfire missile has undoubtedly saved the lives of British and Afghan soldiers in Afghanistan and played an important role in the air campaign in Libya. It is an extremely reliable missile and without doubt the weapon of choice for the Apache pilot and ground force commander.

Actually no, Guided Weapons are Capital Expenditure, which AFAIK is a treasury pot, not an MoD one.
That is interesting. Could you explain the thinking behind this?
It's the extreme costs, that would be difficult to include in any budget. With most conventional ammunition we buy periodically, depending on perceived usage. For example, we might buy 10,000 155mm HE shells each year for the life of the equipment or capability.

With guided weapons we will buy them in bulk for the full lifetime of that Guided Weapon. So when we bought Milan in the early '80s (which went out of service in 2005), we bought 25 years worth of missiles in one go from BAE. The Milan in 1980 was £10k a pop and we probably bought in the region of 20,000 missiles.

The guided weapons we hold approximate 10% of the total munitions held, but 90% of the value. Because of their expense, every guided weapon fired in training has to be monitored by ATO, if a missile fails as a result of the missile itself failing (as opposed to human error), then those costs are often recovered from the manufacturer.
Won't stop them complaining when you fire them too often on Ops, see previous for Javelin expenditure :)

On second thoughts maybe it's different if they're fired by pilots instead of troops?
Who's complaining? Some WO3 in the IPT?
Not a better mousetrap, just a different one as launching a guided weapon from fast air requires different technology. Brimstone itself is built by a conglomeration of British/French/Italian industries.
I thought it was leveraged off the Hellfire?
I thought it was leveraged off the Hellfire?
It is. You can't fire hellfire off fast air, different physics involved, so it's changes are likely to be boost/sustain motor, guidance pack and Safety and Arming mechanism reconfiguration. I'd be surprised if there was much change (if any) to the warhead and therefore any terminal effects are going to be similar.

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