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US Army’s new variant Hellfire II missile test fired

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ORLANDO (BNS): US Army’s new AGM 114R Hellfire II air-to-ground missile system has successfully completed its final ‘Proof-of-Principle’ flight test during which it has destroyed the designated target.

The missile, launched with a live warhead, penetrated a brick-over-block target in its sixth proof-of-principle test at the Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The new ‘Romeo’ version of the multi-platform Hellfire missile features a multipurpose warhead that enables the missile, with a designator spot laser, to seek out and defeat hard, soft and enclosed targets with outstanding success.

The latest test validated the Romeo’s enhanced software capability and superior performance in a military-operations-in-urban-terrain scenario, the weapon's manufacturer Lockheed said.

“The AGM-114R baseline design is now defined and allows us to go into system qualification,” said US Army Lt. Col. Mike Brown.

“The R model remains on cost and on schedule, and meets all performance objectives,” the official added.

The AGM-114 Hellfire is a multi-platform, multi-target air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile system. The weapon can be mounted on fixed-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, attack helicopters, ships, ground vehicles and tripods.

The AGM 114R variant of Hellfire has been designed to take on hard, soft and enclosed targets such as bunkers, light vehicles, urban/soft targets, caves etc.

The latest test was the final proof-of-principle test for the new variant of the missile system.

The initial fielding of the HELLFIRE II Romeo is scheduled for late 2012, Lockheed said.

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