Raytheon’s Hellfire missile, the weapon choice for the US Air Force against insurgents in Pakistan for the last decade, is essentially meant to destroy tanks and buildings.
According to data collated by Amnesty International, the Hellfire missile was first used in 2004 which killed two civilians and three militants. Altogether, an estimated 2,555 militants and 153 civilians have been killed so far. Amnesty International is now asserting that the use of drones armed with the hellfire should amount to war crimes.
In 2011, the US took delivery of upgraded Hellfires and launched 64 drone attacks the same year killing 405 militants and 30 civilians. Compared with the previous year, the Hellfires killed 801 militants and 14 civilians.
Essential an anti-armor missile used to penetrate high-strength steel, its effects on targeted killings of humans would be catastrophic to say the least with significant collateral damage.
The Hellfire has been used in the assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin (2004) by the Israeli Air Force, Anwar al-Awlaki (American-born Islamic cleric in Yemen in 2011) and Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan in 2012 by the United States.
The latest AGM-114R multipurpose missile, the Hellfire II range, integrates capabilities of all previous Hellfire II variants and is equipped with semi-active laser (SAL) seekers into a single missile, defeating a range of targets.
The Hellfire II is provided with a choice of three warheads - a tandem warhead (to defeat advanced / reactive armor), blast-fragmentation warhead with delay fuse is used against soft, light armored targets, small boats, brick and concrete structures and bunkers.
For anti-armour roles, the AGM-114 missile is equipped with a conical shaped charge warhead with a copper liner cone forming the jet for armour penetration.
The number of drone attacks recorded in Pakistan from 2004 is 339 with over 400 civilians killed, according to statement presented in the Pakistan National Assembly earlier this week. The statement made no mention of the number of identified terrorists killed in the attacks
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Wednesday that it has approved sale of air-to-ground missiles to Egypt for $57 million. “The US State Department notified Congress on Tuesday of a possible sale to Egypt of AGM-114K/R3 Hellfire II Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $57 million,” DSCA said in a statement
Navantia Out; Naval Group, Saab and TKMS in $3B Dutch Walrus Replacement...
With No Foreign Patents, 500 Russian Arms Copied Abroad
Wind Tunnel Tests of Sino-Russian CRAIC CR929 Mockup Complete
AM General To Modernize Jordanian Fleet of 200 Humvee Vehicles
Germany To Finalise Order for 38 Eurofighter Jets, 110 E-Scan Radars
Turkish Navy to get First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier in 2020
Bechtel Bags US Navy's $1.4Bn Naval Nuclear Propulsion Components Contract
Su-57 Performs 16 Flights with New, Powerful Engine
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...