Airbus Helicopters announced Wednesday that its new H145M helicopter demonstrated the ability to fire laser guided rockets, the FZ275 LGR from Thales, in the first weeks of December 2017 at the Älvdalen test range, Sweden.
The electro-optical system (MX-15D) from L3 Wescam with embedded laser designation enabled a deviation of less than a meter for all rockets fired at a distance of up to 4.5 km, the press release states. This 70mm laser guided air-ground rocket enhances the H145M’s engagement capabilities. It fulfils the precision strike needs of the armed forces worldwide by reducing the risk of collateral damage, particularly during asymmetric combat operations.
“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.
Following the success of the ballistic firing tests, held in Hungary in October 2017, the achievement of this new milestone with laser guided rockets is in continuity of Airbus Helicopters’ HForce development strategy to boost the H145M mission capability.
The H145M can be equipped with Airbus’ HForce weapons system – a comprehensive, modular and cost-efficient weapon system.
Final qualification of the ballistic HForce system on the H145M is scheduled for end of this year, while the laser-guided rockets are planned for end 2019.