The US State Department has notified Congress of a potential sale of AGM-114R Hellfire II Semi-Active Laser (SAL) missiles to the UK.

Under the estimated $80m foreign military sale (FMS), the UK Government has asked for 500 Hellfire II missiles, as well as associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

The deal will enhance the UK’s air support capability in NATO and other coalition operations, and improve US foreign and national security policies.

Manufactured at Lockheed’s facility in Alabama, US, the AGM-114 Hellfire is a precision-strike, multipurpose, air-to-ground missile system. It is primarily designed to provide anti-armour capability for attack helicopters against a wide range of targets.

The 100lb missile is equipped with semi-active laser seekers, and can be locked on before or after launch for increased platform survivability.

The UK will be able to provide air support to ground forces in US Central Command’s (US CENTCOM) area of responsibility.

Missiles will be supplied from US Army stock. There has not been a principal contractor for the sale.

Earlier this month, France requested the supply of 200 AGM-114K1A Hellfire missiles, blast fragmentation sleeves, missile conversion and installation kits, containers, and transportation.

In June, the US approved the $146m sale of AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles to Lebanon.