Armor: January 24, 2000


The current stocks of TOW and Hellfire missiles will reach the end of their useful lives by 2005. The Army, always on the ball, plans to replace them in 2008 with the Common Modular Missile, which will be used by both ground vehicles and helicopters. This missile must fit existing TOW launchers, which means a six-inch diameter. Various warhead and seeker designs would be available, although most missiles would use a single type of seeker. Anti-tank and unitary explosive warheads would be procured for different types of targets. The anti-tank version might use an explosively formed projectile or a directional warhead. The aviation community complains that the Common Modular Missile will actually be less effective than the current Hellfire, but the Army insists that by purchasing a single missile it can save money.--Stephen V Cole


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