Military Review

“Kill” the terrorists: how the American “blade missile” works


Hellfire rocket cutout model (photo from Wikipedia)

For some time now, messages have begun to appear in the information space that are very reminiscent of a retelling of the plot of a fantastic action movie. Something like "People X" with their popular hero Wolverine, mercilessly shredding razor sharp enemies with blades. It is about this kind of damage that was done to liquidated terrorists instead of traditional bullet or fragmentation wounds, and the media write. Fiction? Nothing of the kind: this is the use of the American missile AGM-114R9X Hellfire.

Hellfire itself is one of the most widely used and tested air-to-surface munitions used by the US Air Force. Designed originally as an anti-tank weaponsOver time, this missile acquired a wide range of warheads - from cumulative and high explosive to thermobaric, inert and tandem, combining the capabilities of the two very first options. Now here are the deadly blades. Why is this even needed?

According to information available in US public sources, the question of developing a high-precision munition, with which it would be possible to carry out “targeted” elimination of targets (first of all, characters that particularly annoyed Americans like leaders and “prominent figures” of various terrorist groups), was staged by Barack Obama. This president is seriously fed up with the well-deserved accusations pouring into the Pentagon and the CIA that during their own military operations, often in settlements, they often destroy the right and the guilty, as they say.

No matter how high-precision a rocket or bomb may be, but deviating it from the target by some meter or two (especially in urban areas) is a very real thing. A small glitch - and an apartment building already flew into the air, and not a jeep with militants parked next to it. Yes, and such things as a blast wave and fragmentation defeat, too, has not been canceled. It is deeply doubtful that the White House was so worried about civilian casualties (such a conclusion suggests itself on the basis of the entire range of actions of the US Army to “establish democracy” in many countries of the world), but they decided to demonstrate their own concern for reducing their number and issued appropriate orders.

According to some reports, the development of a new ammunition has been carried out since 2011, but there is no evidence of this. Generally speaking, there are a lot of rumors, speculations and legends around the “blade rocket”. For the first time, mention of her “surfaced” in the publication of the American edition of The Wall Street Journal, which, in turn, referred to the book “Final. The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden, "by Mark Bowden. In it, the journalist undertook to assert that it was with the help of such a rocket that they originally planned to eliminate "terrorist No. 1". However, the tactical and technical characteristics given in this case allow us to guess that we are talking about a completely different ammunition - an ultra-small guided bomb designed to launch from an UAV. However, bin Laden was still eventually shot ...

Real applications of the AGM-114R9X can be discussed in several fairly well-confirmed cases. For example, in Syria, in the city of Atme (Idlib province), where several terrorists who were in a minivan were killed. Judging by the photographs that appeared on the Internet, the car’s cabin is indeed more likely to be cut than blown up, there is no crater and burning traces, and in the picture of some fragments that may well be the remnants of the rocket that hit the target, one can see something very similar to the metal-cut blades.

Also, the “sword-bearing” Hellfire is attributed to the death of a certain Mohabullah in the area of ​​the Afghan settlement of Imam Sahib (Kunduz province), who performed the role of a financial operations specialist in the Taliban (banned in the Russian Federation) and the murder of one of the leaders of al-Qaeda (banned in Russia) Abu Khaira Al-Masri. Also, according to the American media, the missile was used during covert operations in Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

Let me repeat myself - to date, no officially confirmed data on the TTX AGM-114R9X Hellfire or its images in nature exists. Nevertheless, in accordance with the available information, this ammunition is a completely standard missile, the warhead of which instead of an explosive contains six blades as a striking element, as well as a "weighting" element weighing 45 kilograms. Otherwise, too light a projectile simply will not get anywhere. When approaching the target, the rocket engine is muffled and it enters the point of impact, driven along the ballistic trajectory by aerodynamic rudders - inaudible and elusive, like death itself. The blades open literally at the last second, literally crumbling into a cabbage an unsuspecting victim until this moment ...

In conclusion, it is worth noting that with all its “humanism” and grace, the idea of ​​“superweapon” even in the field of counter-terrorism operations, the AGM-114R9X Hellfire does not pull. The scope of its application is already very specific, based on the claimed characteristics. It can only hit a person in an open area or in a regular car. Already lightly armored vehicles will be too tough for a rocket. That is, not with blades. Absolute protection against it can be considered any building - at least a brick, at least concrete, except perhaps a hut. The main thing is not to stick out the window. However, the idea itself is interesting and speaks of the ability of American gunsmiths to take a non-trivial approach to solving their tasks.
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins April 27 2020 07: 54 New
    Well, but at least a photo of these blades or fragments from them ?!
    1. Professor
      Professor April 27 2020 08: 05 New
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      Well, but at least a photo of these blades or fragments from them ?!

      The article clearly states that information about this missile is just rumors. What pictures? request
      1. Vasily Ponomarev
        Vasily Ponomarev April 27 2020 08: 12 New
        here, the author did not understand the information at all (as can be seen from his level of the article) and therefore did not upload a photo where she obviously used it
        1. Professor
          Professor April 27 2020 09: 09 New
          Quote: Vasily Ponomarev
          where obviously she used

          Obviously? Not at all.
      2. Insurgent
        Insurgent April 27 2020 08: 32 New
        Quote: Professor
        The article clearly states that information about this missile is just rumors.

        How about a "rubber bomb" for China?
    2. svp67
      svp67 April 27 2020 08: 14 New
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      Well, but at least a photo of these blades or fragments from them ?!

      Since this raises many questions
      The blades open literally at the last second, literally crumbling into a cabbage an unsuspecting victim until this moment ...
      How do these "blades" affect the aerodynamics and controllability of the rocket and one second is enough to take the rocket away from the target. How does it work with an accuracy of "mullimeter", and most importantly, where does the rocket go, it just doesn't explode ...

      1. Kalmar
        Kalmar April 27 2020 08: 44 New
        It looks as if the missile's warhead just didn't work, and it went into the "cast-iron bomb" mode. And before photographing, the remnants of the rocket were carefully tidied up.
        1. svp67
          svp67 April 27 2020 08: 46 New
          Quote: Kalmar
          And before photographing, the remnants of the rocket were carefully tidied up.

          Or not shown, judging by the destruction, the epicenter was somewhere between the rows of seats
      2. NN52
        NN52 April 27 2020 09: 18 New
        There is such a photo on the network (from December 2019). They write that "she" and the remnants of the "blades" ..
        1. Peter is not the first
          Peter is not the first April 27 2020 13: 20 New
          It looks more like a self-aiming unit with blades, and the missile itself flies away, since there are no traces left from it at the site of the "terrorist attack". But it is more likely that the carrier
          SPB is a drone, not a rocket.
  2. Maks1995
    Maks1995 April 27 2020 08: 06 New
    And Jews have long had rockets with dust. For a super - small radius of destruction.
    Try hard.
    1. fider
      fider April 27 2020 08: 22 New

      "And the Jews have long had rockets with dust." Not with dust, but with "carmen" powder laughing tongue fool
    2. Insurgent
      Insurgent April 27 2020 08: 30 New
      Quote: Max1995
      And Jews have long had rockets with dust. For a super - small radius of destruction.

      In the eyes to let? belay
      1. Maks1995
        Maks1995 April 27 2020 11: 05 New
        Exactly! As it will give an eye, so then, they wrote who survived, all their life with powder in their legs wound around the hospitals ....
  3. Disorder
    Disorder April 27 2020 08: 18 New
  4. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek April 27 2020 08: 32 New
    Here it should also be noted the high accuracy of the ammunition ... And so the idea is good. They have been developing this theme for a long time. As a second option - controlled explosive power warhead.
    So far we only have to learn ....
  5. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I April 27 2020 08: 40 New
    Here's what I am ready to agree with the Author, so this is the obvious "redundancy of complexity" of the design! Well, on the fig "goat button accordion"? I mean, why does a rocket need blades if it can be better without them? Something, I can't see a "sharp increase in the efficiency" of the product due to the length of the blades! What if, when the rocket passes through the body of the car, the blades get stuck in the body of the "hellfire" or they open up and break at the wrong time? Moreover, if it will be "like a humvi" ?! It will be enough to have a "blank" warhead (!) ... in addition, it will have some "armor-piercing" properties! Better yet ... a canister warhead with the ability to eject canister shot at a certain distance to the target (and, it is not excluded, that it is very small ...), and a kinetic strike by a "monoblock"! Moreover, a buckshot warhead, for example, will not be equipped with a "propelling" charge to increase the kinetic energy of buckshot ... or, instead of buckshot, it will be tungsten "darts" ... just, buckshot (darts) will be scattered at a very small distance to the target using a proximity sensor ...
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek April 27 2020 13: 08 New
      In terms of attacks on ground targets, the Americans themselves with a mustache ..... and we learn and study, and not teach them. Add to this rocket another tracking system for a person in a car. This is a rather difficult operation.
    2. Boratsagdiev
      Boratsagdiev 2 May 2020 14: 05 New
      Blades for "hitting area".
      And the strength of modern cars (especially in recent years) leaves much to be desired.
      And without warheads ... if necessary, the Americans will be able to use this "thing" anywhere (except for the natives). Her "side effects" are minimal.
  6. knn54
    knn54 April 27 2020 08: 40 New
    And Suleymani wasn’t killed with such a rocket?
    1. shahor
      shahor April 27 2020 13: 29 New
      Quote: knn54
      And Suleymani wasn’t killed with such a rocket?

      Exactly like this! The general was identified by a ring on the stump of his hand. The rest is minced. Spectacularly!
  7. Avior
    Avior April 27 2020 08: 53 New
    The AGM-114R9X missile is a joint anti-terrorist development of the companies "Hellfire Systems" and "Gillette".
    Sapphire head, complete safety - until the moment of application, the 6 sharpest blades are hidden in the case. Does not require the use of soap suds and other shaving products.
    You make one move - the Hellfire AGM-114R9X makes 6, completely changing your face profile in one go!

    Now Available!
    1. Boratsagdiev
      Boratsagdiev 2 May 2020 14: 07 New
      Yes ...
      they probably also have a "mini-version", with aiming not along the laser beam ...
      and by GPS or phone signal ... with a complete shave of the whole body.
  8. Prisoner
    Prisoner April 27 2020 09: 49 New
    The United States to "shave" the terrorists should not brandish a bomb, but close the cashier. The decisive role in this "barber shop" belongs to the "accountant" and "cashier". sad
    1. novel66
      novel66 April 27 2020 10: 58 New

      this is their economy, money there, money here ..
  9. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 April 27 2020 11: 45 New
    The Yankees, sophisticated in the killings themselves, soon will not be able to calmly go out, because the knife may be in the hands of a somehow agile and nimble boy.
    1. Revolver
      Revolver April 27 2020 17: 38 New
      And it depends on where. In the town where I live, you can safely walk the streets and parks at any time of the day or night. But across the river, in a city where the majority are minorities, it is better not to walk in broad daylight. You can run into some thread of "Obama's son" or a hot Latinos, with a knife, with a barrel, and if there are several of them, they can handle it with their hands and feet.
        TANKISTONE 2 May 2020 18: 44 New
        They reasonably believe that the pale-faced should ...
  10. The comment was deleted.
  11. iouris
    iouris April 27 2020 12: 54 New
    If I were a "colleague" of the US President, I would be very afraid. He will not "rust" ... And what kind of rocket - it does not matter, he has "many large and fast missiles." Everything's under control.
  12. rosomaha
    rosomaha April 27 2020 15: 00 New
    The article is about nothing (and the author directs Wasserman ... writes on any topic ... more precisely, copies someone else's without understanding the features and expressions of his analysis) ... So here - stupid copying of materials from the first articles about this missile.
    What weighting agent is 45 kg, if the rocket itself weighs 45-49 kg, depending on the modification. In the photo of targets in the affected area, they draw a cross (4 knives) from "supposedly knives" ... and in the article they write that there are 6, or even 8 of them - a mismatch. I have never noticed in the articles about this missile considering the GBU-44 ammunition as an alternative. It just has a cruciform wing with a span of almost a meter ... and in an inert design, with a small KVO - why not zhahnat right on the crown.
    And once again I turn to the admins ... enough notes of Kharaluzhny and Granovsky ... these are empty articles based on materials from an Internet, which everyone has already reread in the subject. We need new facts, a new vision of problems .. new proposals on how to solve them .. new analytics of problems.
  13. garri-lin
    garri-lin April 27 2020 19: 42 New
    This is utter nonsense. Why are there blades? 10 grams of TNT and GPO in the transverse plane and will be great. A 40 kg cast iron bomb will even smash through the roof of an armored personnel carrier. And the Maaapleeykits explosion and shrapnel will cleanse those sitting inside. Related to a minimum. Much more productive.
  14. Jager
    Jager April 30 2020 18: 03 New
    It smacks of some wonderful Middle Ages. Or techno-punk. Perfect aiming system, rocket and ... blades.
    Are they needed at all if, when a blank weighing 50 kg is hit, flying at a sonic speed, any car will smash it to pieces?
  15. Maksim_ok
    Maksim_ok 1 May 2020 01: 02 New
    “The warhead of which instead of an explosive contains six blades as a striking element, as well as a“ weighting ”element weighing 45 kilograms” about a weighting element it’s more like a bike since the total weight of the Hellfire rocket is 45-49 kg, depending on version.

    As for the blades, this is original. Collateral damage is virtually absent as such. And they worry about the deaths of civilians during the elimination of terrorists. Independent media, various humanitarian organizations and the opposition use such cases for criticism and this affects public opinion and this is really serious, since these fools have the habit of changing power every few years and the power there depends on the voter. This is done spiritually and incorrectly.
  16. eklmn
    eklmn 2 May 2020 02: 57 New
    For the curious (Google translations):
    “... the rocket was reportedly used at least twice, most recently in Yemen in January 2019. According to officials who spoke to the Journal, the rocket was used only about half a dozen times in recent years. One such incident was on February 26, 2017, when he killed Al-Qaeda deputy leader Abu al-Khaira al-Masri in Idlib, Syria. He drove in a Kia sedan, and the car was almost without damage, given that it had just hit a rocket. According to reporters at the scene, the roof was torn apart and Egyptian citizen Al-Masri was killed "without real signs of a big bang."
    “Hellfire, which is a little over 1,5 m long and weighs a little over 45 kg, usually leaves behind mutilated, burned vehicle shells surrounded by debris and burn marks over a large radius. R9X does not leave such a signature, ”the sources said.
    A related but unrelated BLU-129 / B (ED78) warhead with composite body provides weapons with very low side damage, and a carbon fiber composite body for high near-field lethality provides a 3-fold reduction in side damage. Weapons support the urgent need for weapons with very low incidental damage. The Precision Lethality MK82 is a quick-response acquisition program that allows the use of a 129-pound Combined Shell Warhead (BLU-500) in response to the urgent operational need of the U.S. Central Command for weapons with very low incidental damage. Air Force Research Laboratory with Livermore National Laboratory Lawrence designed the PL82 composite warhead, which collapses during the explosion and minimizes fragmentation, thereby reducing damage and injuries to neighboring structures and personnel, including friendly forces and civilians.
    Another such bomb, the BLU-126 / B, with low collateral damage (LCDB), can be used with the same guiding kits as the BLU-111. The modification reduces the mass of the main explosive charge to less than 30 pounds, and the removed explosive mass is replaced by an inert material that retains mass properties.
    Such warhead concepts for low collateral damage ammunition usually require a polymer composite warhead in combination with a dense high explosive (HE) filling. The use of these dense HE poses significant design, performance and safety concerns. Structural integrity requires the sidewall of the warhead to withstand the loads from weapon launch, including the load from the dense filling of explosives. A competitive requirement is that the effectiveness of a low bail warhead is strongly influenced by the breaking strength of the sidewall of the warhead. "