A little Hellfire treatment for an IED?

Happened to notice this in the US Air Force AIMPoints newsletter from Thursday:

A USAF Predator performed a strike in the vicinity of Rawah expending a Hellfire missile with successful effects against an enemy improvised explosive device location.

A quick Google turned up this on DefenseLINK News:

Air Force officials reported today that coalition aircraft flew 62 close-air-support missions Dec. 7 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Also, Air Force Predator — an advanced concept technology demonstration aircraft — fired a Hellfire missile, destroying an enemy improvised explosive device location near Rawah, officials said.

I think it’s safe to say that the Predator has demonstrated it’s advanced concepts and technology very well so far.

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I also turned up this from a DefenseLINK story on Nov. 13:

A U.S. Air Force Predator performed an air strike against an improvised explosive device location in the vicinity of Karabilah, expending a Hellfire missile with successful effects.

I’m all for “successful effects” and all, but doesn’t trading a Hellfire for an IED on a regular basis seem unbalanced? To save lives, of course it’s the right thing to do. But isn’t there a better way to take them out once the Predator finds them? Unless they’re remote. (The IED’s, guys. I know that the Predator is ‘remote’-controlled.)

If the Predator gets the IED planters in the act, taking them out with a Hellfire is certainly worth it.

If this is going to become a habit, I’m buying stock in Boeing and Lockheed, the parents of Hellfire Systems LLC. There isn’t a shortage of IEDs. And there isn’t one forecast.


  1. Hopefully, the terrorists responsible for placing this I.E.D. were in a VERY close proximity to it when the hellfire went: BOOM!

  2. Oops, Murdoc already said that. I bet the situation was that there were no ground forces nearby and it was risky to get them there just to explode an IED. They didn’t want the possibility of someone wandering into it until then, so they just destroyed it. Even if every ten IEDs destroyed by hellfier only save one life, I bet it’d be worth it. I’m not sure how much they cost but surely it’s under $100k and I think $1m would be just fine for that effect. Probably even a fair bit more.