Australian Navy Boosts MH-60R Seahawk
Australian Navy’s Seahawk helicopter is now in possession of a new missile system which will provide improved air-to-ground missile accuracy for the navy.
The AGM-114N Hellfire air-to-ground missile was accepted into the fleet in August and rounds out the weapons complement of the MH-60R Seahawk.
Commanding Officer of 725 Squadron, where the ‘Romeo’ helicopter currently flies, Commander Dave Frost, said the Hellfire was an extremely capable weapons system which greatly supported the combat mission of his aircraft.
Commander Frost said:
The Hellfire system enables the Romeo to pack more of a punch in the surface warfare domain. The ability to deliver the weapon in a number of modes either as a single aircraft or a section greatly supports the Navy’s mission of fighting and winning at sea, and based on the success of firings in the United States, it is clear that Australian Navy maintainers and aircrew are rapidly becoming highly proficient with the system.
MH-60R (Weapons) Project Manager Tom McLaren, said that the transition of the AGM-114N from project to sustainment had been efficient.
The chemical composition of the Hellfire’s metal augmented charge thermobaric warhead is substantially more effective in attacks against enclosed structures, like ships, than the current Hellfire blast and fragment variants.
The missile’s effect is capable of reaching around corners, striking enemy forces that hide in bunkers or hardened multi-room complexes.
The Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (Tiger) employs the M and R variants of the Hellfire missile.
Image: Australian Navy