AGM-114 Hellfire

The AGM-114 Hellfire is a multi-platform, multi-target U.S. modular missile system. The development of the Hellfire missile system began in 1974 with the US Army requirement for a anti-tank missile, launched from helicopters, to defeat armored vehicles. The Hellfire has matured into a comprehensive weapon system, one that can be deployed from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, naval assets, and land-based systems against a variety of targets.Since being fielded, Hellfire missiles have proven their effectiveness in combat in Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and most recently, Operation Iraqi Freedomwhere they have been fired successfully from Apache and Cobra attack helicopters, Kiowa scout helicopters, and Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The Israeli Defence Forces have used them extensively against Palestinian targets.

AGM-114 Hellfire
Class Missile
Type Air to Surface
Manufacturer Hellfire Systems LLC
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1986
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Egypt View
Greece View
Israel View
Netherlands View
Singapore View
Sweden View
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) View
United Arab Emirates View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
United States of America 1986 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Hellfire Systems LLC 1976 View

Since being fielded, Hellfire missiles have been used in combat in Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Storm in Persian Gulf, Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where they have been fired from Apache and Super Cobra attack helicopters, Kiowa scout helicopters, and Predator unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs).

The only known operational air-to-air kill with a Hellfire took place on 24 May 2001. A civilian Cessna 152 aircraft entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon, with unknown intentions and refusing to answer or comply with ATC repeated warnings to turn back. An Israeli Air Force AH-64A helicopter fired upon the Cessna, resulting in its complete disintegration, and the death of Estephan Nicolian, a student pilot.

In 2008, the usage of the AGM-114N variant caused controversy in the United Kingdom when it was reported that these thermobaric munitions were added to the British Army arsenal. Thermobaric weapons have been condemned by human rights groups. The UK Ministry of Defence refers to the AGM-114N as an "enhanced blast weapon".

The AGM-114 has been the munition of choice for airborne targeted killings that have included high-profile figures such as Ahmed Yassin (Hamas leader) in 2004 by the Israeli Air Force, Anwar al-Awlaki (American-born Islamic cleric and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader) in Yemen in 2011, Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan in 2012 by the United States, and Moktar Ali Zubeyr (also known as Ahmad Abdi Godane, leader of al-Shabaab) in Somalia in September 2014.

General Information
Developed by USA
Deployed by Egypt, Greece, Israel, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Trukey, UAE, UK, USA
Development Year 1976
Deployment Year 1986
Platform (Air borne platforms) AH-64A Apache attack helicopter (primary operational platform) (up to 16 missiles) AH-1J/W Super Cobra RAH-66 Comanche and other helicopters (Ground Platforms) HMMWV (Ground Launched Hellfire - Light) Simple tripod rail launcher (Swedish armed forces) (Naval platform) Chapfire (modified Chaparral launcher)
Launcher M299 modular pylons (helicopter-fired), modified Chaparral launch stations(Chapfire)
Number manufactured 60,000 (through 1998)
Contractor Hellfire Systems LCC, Orland, USA

Dimensions and Performance
Length 1.63m, 1.8m(AGM-114F)
Body Diameter 17.8cm
Wing/Fin span 36.2cm
Launch Weight 45.7kg(A,B,C), 48.6kg(F), 44.9kg(K)
Range 8,000m
Speed Mach 1.7

Propulsion solid propellant
Engine built by Morton Thiokol
Warhead 7.25kg shaped charge
Guidance autopilot, semi-active laser, mm wave radar (AGM-114K)

End notes