Airbus Helicopters announced on 31 January the first rocket firing from an H145M fitted with the company’s new HForce generic weapon system (GWS).
The test, which took place in Sweden in early December 2017, saw the company demonstrate the ability of its HForce-equipped H145M helicopter to launch the Thales FZ275 laser-guided rocket.
As noted by Airbus Helicopters, the laser-designator fitted as part of the aircraft’s L3-Wescam MX-15D electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret found and fixed the target out to a range of 4.5 km. The rockets were then fired, hitting within a deviation of less than a metre.
Airbus Helicopters first showcased the HForce GWS in March 2016 as a new modular weapons system for its H125M, H145M, and/or H225M range of rotorcraft. It is billed as offering operators the ability to quickly and easily weaponise unarmed platforms by means of the Rockwell Collins Deutschland (RCD) FMC-4212 General Purpose Computer (GPC), the Thales’ Scorpion monocular helmet-mounted sight display (HMSD), a Wescam electro-optical sensor, as well as gunner armament weapon grips and weapon pods.
Weapons options include 12.7 mm heavy machine gun pods (HMPs), 20 mm cannon pods, air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, and/or 68 mm and 70 mm unguided and guided rockets, as well as air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles.
The HForce GWS is available in four different options, depending on the customer’s requirements:
Option 0 – the helicopter is provisioned for the HForce GWS for later retrofit, but not yet equipped with it.
Option 1 – Ballistic firing with HMSD. This includes pilot HMSD, plus the integration of a combination of 12.7 mm HMPs, 20 mm cannons, and unguided rockets.
Option 2 – Ballistic firing with HMSD and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) targeting. This includes Option 1, plus pilot and co-pilot/gunner HMSD, and EO/IR targeting.
Option 3 – Ballistic firing with HMSD and EO/IR and guided weapons.
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