2 different types of rocket launcher for helicopters in different sizes are available :
- lightweight rocket launcher in composite material : 2, 6, 7, 12 and 19 tube
- metallic rocket launcher in aluminium : 19 tube
Lightweight rocket launchers
Low mass is of utmost importance in helicopter applications.
Thales lightweight rocket launchers (FZ® brand) made out of composite material are on average about 50% lighter than comparable metallic rocket launcher, have no corrosion issue and other features. They have been especially developed for rotary wings due to limitation of payload.
5 different sizes are available:
- 2-tube (FZ602)
- 6-tube (FZ606)
- 7 tube (FZ233*/FZ220)
- 12 tube (FZ231*/FZ219)
- 19 tube (FZ225*/FZ207) * with LIU (Launcher Interface Unit) interfacing with GRMU/WMU/GWS/MCS
The weight of the 19-tube variant of the rocket launcher was reduced from the current 76 kg for an aluminum rocket launcher (M159 or US-M261) to a weight of 38 kg for the composite rocket launcher (FZ225).
During the development of the composite rocket launchers, strict military design processes were applied including a full testing program according to MIL-STD 810H.
No US elements or components are integrated in Thales lightweight rocket launchers.
Metallic rocket launcher
M159 is an aluminum high-drag, straight cylindrical 19-tube reusable launcher designed for helicopter use. The rocket launcher M159 is equipped with removable universal dual purpose FZ125 detent mechanisms enabling to fire FFAR and WA rockets.
It can be fitted with an optional removable rear fairing.
Digital smart rocket launcher
A new 6 tube (FZ606) digital smart rocket launcher with full LOBL capability for helicopters has been developped enbaling to fire laser guided rocket FZ275 LGR.