Army has test fired its first Lockheed Martin AGM-114R Hellfire II Romeo laser guided air-to-ground missile from one of its Tiger Armed Reconnoissance Helicopters (ARH) at the Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory.
The Hellfire II Romeo variant has some guidance and navigation improvements over its AGM-114M model, which is certified to be fired from Army’s fleet of Tiger ARHs.
The AGM-114R also features a variable warhead, which Lockheed Martin says is intended to work well against all three target types of armoured vehicles, fortified positions or soft and open targets, which can be selected by the aircrew while airborne without having to be pre-set prior to departure.
“Hellfire is extremely lethal and we will continue to use it into the future with some upgrades that are coming through,” said LTCOL Hayden Archibald, commanding officer of 1 Aviation Regiment (1 Avn Regt), 16th Aviation Brigade – the regiment for Army’s two operational Tiger squadrons, 161 and 162 Attack Squadrons.
“We have just conducted tests and evaluations using the AGM-114R which is a great enhancement to the Hellfire system. We will be able to program the warhead to be either an explosive fragment or an anti-tank weapon.”
The Hellfire II Romeo trial was carried out by the Army Aviation Test and Evaluation Section with support and collaboration from Airbus Group Australia Pacific instrumentation, engineering and maintenance personnel, as well as the 1 Avn Regt, the Army Aviation Training Centre, and RAAF Base Tindal.
An in-depth profile on Tiger and 1 Avn Regt will appear in the January/February 2017 issue of Australian Aviation.