Arnold Defense has unveiled a developmental 2.75-inch/70 mm laser-guided weapon system designed to meet the demands of land-based, vehicle-mounted and dismounted warfare for special and conventional forces, with potential future application for naval/littoral platforms.
Traditionally, 2.75-inch rocket systems have been used as an area suppression weapon, ordinarily deployed by aviation assets. The Arnold Defense team has re-aligned this concept with the introduction of the Fletcher weapon system, which leverages laser-guided rocket technologies for surface-to-surface effects. In its land vehicle-mounted role, Fletcher is intended as a stop-and-shoot system – it does not have fire-on-the move capability.
As currently exhibited in a concept demonstrator configuration, the Fletcher system marries the Arnold Defense Fletcher smart four-round launcher (which relays the data from a laser designator to munition) with a 2.75-inch Hydra 70 rocket equipped with an Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) semi-active laser guidance component and a Nammo M282A1 warhead.
The system is installed on a universal gun mount developed by Military Systems Group, allowing it to be fitted on a variety of platforms; it can also be used in a dismounted role, mounted on a tripod for stay-behind or flank protection roles. A separate, lightweight, wearable Integrated Targeting System and interface enable networked digital connectivity with CAT 1 (United States) levels of accuracy.
The Fletcher launcher is 2,000 mm in length, 300 mm in width/height, and weighs 13.6 kg (unloaded). With a full load of rockets, the system weighs 59 kg.
Development of the concept dates back to 2006, when Arnold Defense entered discussions with the US Marine Corps about equipping ground vehicles with a rocket launcher capability, Jim Hager, President and CEO of Arnold Defense told Jane’s .”
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