Spanish Navy successfully launched AGM-144 Hellfire missiles from SH-60B

MADRID, ($1=0.88 Euros) – A 10th Squadron helicopter SH-60B conducted a Hellfire air-to-surface missile launch exercise this week at the Zaragoza San Gregorio Maneuvering Range, learned, citing InfoDefensa.

New General Atomics UAV launches record 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Navy explains that this is the first time two Hellfires have been fired at ground targets. Tigre helicopters from the Army Airborne Forces [Famet] and Tercio de Armada air traffic controllers also took part in the exercise.

The SH-60B Seahawk is the only Spanish aircraft that can launch this type of missile. The AGM-144 Hellfire missile, manufactured by the American company Lockheed Martin, allows small surface units to be attacked from the air or to provide air support to the Marines.

Just a year ago, the Navy announced the first launch of a Hellfire from an SH-60B helicopter. On this occasion, he was against a target at sea. It should be remembered that the SH-60B fleet of the Tenth Squadron, consisting of twelve units, is in the last period of its life. The main candidate for its replacement is the MH-60R.

Its main missions are surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare, although it can also carry out rescue and rescue missions, medical evacuations, and logistical transport missions.

This exercise coincides with the deployment of the Marine Brigade [Brimar] in Exercise FTX-Brimar 21, the most important of the year for this unit, at the San Gregorio Maneuvering Range. The maneuvers will continue until December 15.

GA UAV launches record 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles

As we reported on November 16, the General Atomics has built and launched a prototype of a new drone with increased firepower compared to other UAVs in service with the US military. This new drone has already made its first flight, and by the end of this year, the company should publish photos and reveal some features of this development.

According to Breaking Defense, citing its own sources, the new UAV will be able to launch a record 16 Hellfire missiles – twice as many as the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, and four, compared to the MQ-9 Reaper.

It is alleged that this UAV has already made its first flight this summer at the Desert Horizon test site in the Mojave Desert.

It is noted that the new UAV has received key improvements that will allow it to work effectively in harsh conditions, as well as be able to launch from dirt roads, dry streams, and possibly even from warships.

The design of the new drone will partially repeat the design of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAV with an increased range but will have much larger wings, as well as new avionics and capabilities such as automatic takeoff and landing.

At the same time, arming the aircraft with 16 missiles should reduce its endurance, but the company believes that this shortcoming will block the ability of the drone to fly closer to the mission, as well as quickly launch missiles, thereby reducing aircraft weight and air time.


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