The US State Department has approved the sale of $108 million worth of Hellfire AGM-114R2 missiles to Australia.
According to an announcement from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Australia requested a total of 800 missiles, including technical assistance, spares, and other related equipment.
“This proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing the Australian Army’s armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare mission capabilities,” DSCA said.
The Hellfire missile is already employed by the Royal Australian Navy as a precision air-to-ground weapon delivering multi-target capability and strike lethality.
The AGM-114N variant which the Royal Australian Navy has purchased contains a metal augmented charge (MAC) and is ideal for the navy’s use from the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter in the anti-surface warfare role.
While the Hellfire currently in use is of the “N” variant, the new variant that is potentially being purchased is the AGM-114R2 (R standing for Romeo), According to the US Army, the AGM-114R is designed to replace all other missile variants.
The US State Department decision approving the sale does not mean a deal has been concluded, and quantities and values released within these announcements are often subject to change.
Should a definitive agreement be reached, the principal contractor would be Lockheed Martin.