Monday, May 25, 2009

The AGM-114 - An American Classic Tank Killer

The Hellfire missile is the main armament of the American AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. The apache is not the only war machine to utilize the Hellfire, and the history of the Hellfire’s development attests to the business acumen of the US defence industry. After WWII, the DOD began to research with employing laser technology for military applications. Once laser technology and missile design had been perfected, large defense contractors incorporated textbook marketing principles such as modular design to increase versatility and ease of manufacturing. For example, the warhead of the missile comes in different varieties; a blast fragmentation warhead for defeating bunkers and a dual shape charge warhead that can defeat advanced reactive armor. The shape charge is clearly visible in the missile cross-section(it is the copper cone shaped piece). Likewise, the Hellfire was designed to be modifiable so that it could be employed with an array of military vehicles.

The newest platform to fire the Hellfire is the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) MQ-1B Predator, which signals a new era of robotic military machines. New developments for Hellfire missile platforms are constantly arriving, other visions include Hellfire armed small warships and Hellfire armed small land vehicles.

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