The Hellfire II missile has been integrated for launch from attack helicopters, but it also can be fired from a ground vehicle. (Lockheed Martin)
- Filed Under
For years, the US Army has been looking for ways to launch Hellfire missiles from ground stations, a capability that would give infantrymen a new lethal tool to use when they might not be able to call in fire or get air support from aviation assets.
To meet that need, Lockheed Martin has partnered with Moog to develop the Common Hellfire Package (CHP), a modular integrated weapon system that will enable Hellfire shots from a variety of land, air and sea platforms — including being towed behind a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
The CHP has already been tested on helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and has launched Hellfire missiles from a stationary trailer-mounted pedestal towed behind Lockheed’s JLTV prototype.
The CHP relies on Moog’s Stores Management System, which acts as the weapon controller as well as providing the interface to everything from targeting sensors, operator stations and existing command-and-control systems, said Mike Dowty, business development manager for Lockheed.
In February, Lockheed announced that it had fired its DAGR missile from a pedestal launcher mounted in the bed of its JLTV. The missile found the laser spot two seconds after launch and hit a target 5 kilometers away.
When it comes to the CHP, Dowty said, “We’ve talked to more than one command and there’s more interest that’s growing in it, and it’s growing much more rapidly than I had anticipated.”
Jason Reichard, director for Integrated Defense Systems at Moog, added that since the CHP is modular, it’s able to integrate existing sensors or new sensors that will be developed with relative ease.
“Our systems are independent” from any particular technology he added.
The two companies also are working on adding to this capability to the Army’s Apache Longbow attack helicopter, which can already carry the Hellfire.