Laser-guided Rocket For the French Army

Discussion in 'French Defence Forum' started by Vergennes, Jul 13, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

    Oct 10, 2015
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    The TDA Armaments Aculeus-LG laser-guided rocket will become part of the French arsenal.

    Thales subsidiary TDA Armaments has just received a contract to supply its Aculeus-LG laser-guided rocket to the ALAT (Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre, French army aviation). Also known as the RPM (roquette à precision métrique), the Aculeus-LG is a development of the 68mm rocket family that TDA currently provides for a range of airborne applications, notably the Airbus Helicopters Tiger attack helicopter. The contract covers industrialization, qualification and an initial production batch.

    TDA has been developing the laser-guided system with French DGA support for around five years, conducting its first test firing in January 2013. Fitted with a semi-active laser seeker from the Thales facility at Elancourt, the Aculeus-LG offers sub-metric precision and a range of around 3.8 miles (6 kilometers) when fired from a helicopter. It offers the ability to engage moving targets. The weapon can be locked on after launch, and is reprogrammable in flight, including a change of laser code.

    Fitted with a low CDE (collateral damage effect) warhead, the new LG variant is based on the existing Aculeus range of induction rockets, which “communicate” wirelessly with the rocket launcher system. All requisite information, such as laser code and target behavior, is passed in encrypted form to the weapon just prior to launch. Without this information the warhead cannot be detonated, meaning that the rockets or their warheads cannot be used—even as the basis of an IED—should they fall into hostile hands. Because there are no physical connections, the Aculeus is quicker and easier to load than other systems, and does not suffer as much from misfires and foreign object damage.

    Aculeus rockets form part of the Telson weapon system family, which covers a range of launchers. For rotary-wing and light fixed-wing use there are two-, eight-, 12- and 22-round launchers. The Tiger can carry two each of the larger pods, for a maximum of 68 rockets. TDA has also developed a 12-round Telson launcher for fighters such as Dassault’s Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighters. The laser-guided rocket is being promoted for the fast-jet application to provide a precision-weapons-effect capability that fills the gap between the 30mm cannon shell and the smallest bombs.
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