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AGM-114B Hellfire

The external configuration of the AGM-114B is the same as the AGM-114K and is fully compatible, including the launch platform and support system. Commonality in the configuration of the three missiles allows use of the same shipping containers, handling tools, test fixtures, and launchers.

The laser seeker acquires and tracks targets designated with laser energy by using the energy reflected from the target. The laser seeker section is packaged in two separate units; the seeker head assembly and an electronics assembly. The seeker head assembly consists of a gyro-optics assembly, dome, potted coil assembly, and the interface board, which attaches to the back of the gyro support. The gyro-optics assembly is an inertially stabilized, spinning mass, gimbaled detector assembly made up of three subassemblies: the rotor, the gimbal, and the sensor. The dome is made of injection molded optical graded polycarbonate. A purging operation is performed to remove any moisture within the seeker head by replacing the air that is present with dry nitrogen under positive pressure.

The warhead, a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) type, uses a shaped charge and is detonated by an electromechanical fuze. The major components of the warhead are the warhead body, including a center support ring, a liner-explosive-built subassembly, a retaining ring, a main charge pellet, a precision initiation coupler, a waveshaper, and a cover plate. The warhead provides the kill mechanism of a guided missile designed to destroy a tank-type target. The signal to detonate the warhead is provided by a crush switch located in the seeker section.

Safing, arming, and detonating functions for the warhead are provided by the M820 fuze, a base detonating electro-mechanical device. The fuze requires the application of electrical power in conjunction with forward acceleration greater than 10 gravitational forces in order to arm.

The Guidance Section Group (GSG) consists of an autopilot electronic assembly, gyros, battery, and a gas accumulator. The GSG receives information from the laser seeker and provides commands to the control section. It also provides missile trajectory control prior to seeker lock-on during the indirect firing mode. The GSG provides electrical and pneumatic power requirements for the missile after launch.

The propulsion section, including rocket motor, provides thrust to separate the missile from the launch rail, the acceleration profile necessary to arm the warhead fuze, and the impulse which enables the missile to be launched outside the target's gun defense range with minimum flight time to target. There are three different rocket motors:

  • M120 reduced smoke, used with the AGM-114A. (Army version)
  • M120E1 minimum smoke, which limits the exhaust signature and is used with the AGM-114C. (Army version)
  • M120E2 minimum smoke, which adds a Safe Arm Device (SAD) to meet Navy shipboard safety requirements, used with the AGM-114B and AGM-114K, and will be used with AGM-114M.

The control section accepts commands from the GSG and positions control surfaces as required for missile stabilization and control.



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