Thermobaric Hellfires used in Afghanistan

Guardian:

British pilots in Afghanistan are firing an increasing number of "enhanced blast" thermobaric weapons, designed to kill everyone in buildings they strike, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

Since the start of this year more than 20 of the US-designed missiles, which have what is officially described as a "blast fragmentation warhead", have been fired by pilots of British Apache attack helicopters. A total of 20 were also fired last year after they were bought by the MoD from the Americans last May.

The missiles are a variant of the AGM-114N Hellfire missile, described by the Pentagon as "designed to produce higher sustained blast pressure in multi-room structures.

It adds: "The enhanced blast from the … warhead is more effective against non-traditional targets; multi-room structures expected in military operations in urban terrain operations, caves, and fortified bunkers."

The missile's warhead is made with a mixture of chemicals rather than a simple blast mechanism.

"The thermobaric Hellfire missile can take out the first floor of a building without damaging the floors above, and is capable of reaching around corners," according to Global-Security.org, a US thinktank.

It describes the effects of the missile as "formidable". Unlike conventional warheads, it produces a sustained pressure wave. US forces have deployed the missiles in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

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I suspect this is the weapon that is being used on the UAVs that are hunting al Qaeda targets in Pakistan. It is a very effective weapon. That may be why the human rights useful idiots are beginning to question its use. Will they want to ban fragmentation grenades next? So far I have not heard any objections to the enemies use of RPGs as an anti personnel weapon.

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