The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of additional AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment to Lebanon worth $146m.
The Lebanese Government has requested the supply of 1,000 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, along with spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, and training equipment, as well as other related elements of logistics, and programme support.
The potential sale is expected to enhance Lebanon’s capability to address both existing and future threats.
Lebanon is anticipated to use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defence and to replenish existing stock levels.
Approved by the US State Department, the sale will augment foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to boost the security of a strategic partner.
Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control has been named as the prime contractor for the FMS programme.
Manufactured at Lockheed’s facility in Alabama, US, the AGM-114 Hellfire is a precision-strike, multi-purpose, air-to-ground missile system, and 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 used by lock-on before launch or lock-on after launch for increased platform survivability.
It can be deployed from rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, vessels, and land-based systems.
The missile is in service with the armed forces of the US and several other nations, including Australia, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Greece, South Korea, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, as well as the UAE and the UK, among others.
Image: The 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.