Thales' rockets complete firing campaigns with Airbus HForce weapon system

Thales has been recently awarded a contract from Airbus Helicopters for the test of its rocket systems to boost the H145M mission capability, the French Group said on March 5, 2018.

Thales rockets mpletes firing  campaigns with Airbus HForce  weapon system 001The Airbus H145M fitted with HForce weapon system
(Airbus Helicopters/Jerome Deulin)

This contract follows the selection of both Thales rocket systems (70mm NATO and 68mm Induction) to provide such capabilities to Airbus Helicopters’ platforms equipped with its new weapon management system, “HForce”. Thales announces the recent completion of two successful tests firing campaigns.

In October 2017, Airbus Helicopters completed a ballistic development test of an HForce weapon system equipped on an H145M platform at the Bakony Combat Training Center – BCTC in Hungary. The system test included unguided 70mm / 2.75” rockets (with “FZ231” 12 tube launcher) as well as a helmet mounted sight display Scorpion by Thales.

In December 2017, the test firings of Thales 70mm / 2.75” (“FZ275”) laser guided rockets were conducted on an H145M platform at the Älvdalen test range of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration Flight test Centre, in an adverse and challenging environment. With precision to within one meter, the guided air-to-ground rocket improves target engagement capabilities while reducing platform vulnerability.

These successful test firings with Thales “FZ275”, and the former ones, in 2014 from Tiger Combat Helicopter with the Thales “Aculeus” Induction Laser Guided, confirm the reliability and maturity of Thales’s Rocket Systems. Final qualification for both laser guided products is planned for end 2019.

With Thales Laser Guided Rockets and Scorpion , Thales contributes to increase HForce efficiency. Thanks to its very precise and unique Hybrid-Optical motion tracking (HObiT), Scorpion dramatically secures Crew Resource Management during critical phase before firing, saving time and avoiding any misunderstanding between Gunner and Pilot. Equipped with a full color day/night display, Scorpion is the new monocular helmet-mounted sight display reference for Light Armed Helicopters.

«The laser guided rockets from Thales performed incredibly well especially taking into consideration the weather conditions we experienced during the trials which were far from ideal with a lot of moisture in the air, » said Raymond Laporte, Test pilot at Airbus Helicopters.