The US Government is planning to sell an additional 4,000 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles to Iraq, as the Iraqi Government continues its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Unnamed sources were quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the US State Department revealed that members of the Senate and House’s foreign relations committees were informed of the planned sales last week, and are conducting an informal review, which could last for 40 days.
The US Congress would have 30 days to block the sale once the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) submits a formal notice.
When questioned about the potential Hellfire sales, State Department bureau in charge of security assistance spokesperson Josh Paul said: "As a matter of policy, we decline to comment on cases that have not been formally notified to Congress."
The Pentagon has already supplied 400 of the 500 laser-guided missiles purchased by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD), and is planning to complete the remaining deliveries within the next two to three weeks.
Manufactured at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Alabama, US, the Hellfire is a precision-strike, multi-purpose, air-to-ground missile system (AGMS), primarily designed to provide anti-armour capability for attack helicopters against a wide range of targets.
Deployed from rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, vessels and land-based systems, the missile is equipped with semi-active laser seekers, and can be used by lock-on before launch or lock-on after launch for increased platform survivability.
Image: AGM-114 Hellfire missiles loaded on a US Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter at Balad Air Base in Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Looper5920.