France and U.S. Sign Agreement for Sale of Lockheed Martin Hellfire II Missiles

February 5th, 2008  

Topic: France and U.S. Sign Agreement for Sale of Lockheed Martin Hellfire II Missiles

France and U.S. Sign Agreement for Sale of Lockheed Martin Hellfire II Missiles

ORLANDO, FL, February 4th, 2008 -- The governments of France and the United States have signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the sale of Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] precision-strike laser-guided HELLFIRE II® missiles to France. The agreement authorizes the sale of multiple warhead variants of the modular HELLFIRE II, with options, for the French Army’s Hélicoptère d'Appui Destruction (HAD) Tiger attack helicopter fleet. Contract value and missile quantities were not disclosed.
HELLFIRE II is currently fielded with the Armed Forces of the U.S. and 13 other nations by HELLFIRE Systems, Limited Liability Company (HSLLC). Lockheed Martin performs all work on behalf of HSLLC.
"We’re pleased France selected HELLFIRE II, establishing it as the missile of choice in Europe for Eurocopter’s HAD Tiger," said Ken Musculus, program director of Air-to-Ground Missile Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "HELLFIRE and the all-digital M299 launcher have been successfully integrated and qualified on the Australian Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter, and through our whole-system approach to integration, we are extending our successful relationship with Eurocopter to the French HAD."
Eurocopter, under contract with the multi-national European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, has already begun integration of HELLFIRE II onto the HAD Tiger at its facility in Marignane, France, with Lockheed Martin’s support. Ground tests began in October 2007, with flight tests scheduled to begin in March 2008.
"HELLFIRE II has an extensive combat record, with more than 6,000 rounds expended by Coalition Forces in the Global War on Terror," Musculus said. "The French Army expects to field its Tiger attack helicopter fleet by 2012, and we look forward to equipping this fleet with the precision-strike and multi-mission capability HELLFIRE provides."
The modular HELLFIRE II includes four semi-active laser warhead variations – (1) the high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) missile, or AGM-114K, which defeats all known and projected armored threats; (2) the AGM-114M blast fragmentation missile, which is effective against primary target sets such as boats, buildings, bunkers and light-armored vehicles; (3) the metal augmented charge missile, or AGM-114N, which defeats enclosures, caves and enemy personnel housed therein; and (4) the recently introduced augmented HEAT warhead, AGM-114K-A, which adds blast fragmentation to the HEAT warhead’s anti-tank capability, providing precision strike against soft targets in the open.

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