France has picked Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire 2 for its Eurocopter Hélicoptère d’Appui Destruction (HAD) Tiger fleet following a stiff international competition that included the MBDA missile maker owned by EADS, BAE Systems, and Finmeccanica.
The Hellfires will be purchased under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program The French army plans to put 40 HAD Tigers in the field by 2012. The number of systems to be acquired was not specified, but France is considered to have a requirement for nearly 700.
"Hellfire 2 has an extensive combat record, with more than 3,000 rounds expended in the Global War on Terrorism," said Doug Terrell, Lockheed Martin’s international business development director for tactical missiles. The system includes three semi-active laser warhead variations: the high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) missile, or AGM-114K, designed to defeat all known and projected armored threats; the AGM-114M blast fragmentation missile for attacking soft targets such as boats, buildings, bunkers, and light-armored vehicles, and the metal-augmented charge missile, or AGM-114N, for attacking enclosures, caves, and enemy personnel housed therein.