Saturday, September 12, 2009

DTN News: Lockheed Offered HAL Longbow Hellfire For Weaponised Dhruv

DTN News: Lockheed Offered HAL Longbow Hellfire For Weaponised Dhruv *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin (NSI News Source Info) BANGALORE, India - September 12, 2009: Lockheed-Martin is looking to engage Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in a bid to push the AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire chopper-launched anti-armour missile system for the weaponised Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, also called the Dhruv-WSI (weapons systems integrated). The Hellfire Air-to-Ground Missile System (AGMS) provides heavy anti-armor capability for attack helicopters. The first three generations of HELLFIRE missiles use a laser seeker. The fourth generation, Longbow HELLFIRE, uses a radar frequency seeker. The first generation of Laser HELLFIRE presently is used as the main armament of the U.S. Army's AH-64 Apache and U.S. Marine Corps' AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters. The second generation currently is available for deployment. Laser HELLFIRE homes on a laser spot that can be projected from ground observers, other aircraft, or the launching aircraft itself. This enables the system to be employed in a variety of modes: autonomous, air or ground, direct or indirect, single shot, rapid, or ripple fire.
The proposal is charted out as one of Lockheed's long-term proposals for India, though the company confirms that "[HAL] requires large quantities of Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) systems to be installed on its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for the Indian Army requirement.
This opportunity is being developed in consultation with the USG and GOI."The Indian Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) has been cleared for production for the Indian Army in the ground-launched variant, though the Helina (HELIcopter-launched NAg) will take atleast another 18 months to be ready for operations and integration on the Dhruv-WSI.
The Helina, incidentally, has similar stated range and other parameters to the Longbow Hellfire. The missile is expected to enter its live test phase this November.
The Army has 104 Dhruv choppers on order from HAL at the moment.

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