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Arnold Defense unveils ‘Trident' 2.75-inch rocket air launcher concept

The Arnold Defense ‘Trident' three-round launcher prototype concept demonstrator mounted on Moog Space and Defense Group's Lightweight Dual Rail Launcher. (Arnold Defense)

Arnold Defense has unveiled a three-round air launcher concept protoytpe for 2.75 inch/70 mm laser-guided rockets. Developed in partnership with Moog Space and Defense Group, the concept demonstrator – designated ‘Trident' – was unveiled at the AUSA 2021 exhibition in Washington, mounted on a Moog Lightweight Dual Rail Launcher.

Weighing approximately 14.5–16.3 kg (unloaded), between 193 and 203.2 cm in length, and 17.8 cm in diameter, the Trident launcher utilises a curved nosecone to increase streamlining and reduce drag. Utilising Moog's Trident Interface Unit, the launcher is designed to be integrated on to a standard missile rail interface across a variety of aerial platforms without necessitating changes to existing fire-control systems software.

“Trident is a company-funded project initiated to meet specific future capability requirements being communicated by a customer,” an Arnold Defense spokesperson said. “While the three-round launcher can be used on fixed and rotary-wing platforms, it is designed for potential use on UAS [unmanned aircraft system] platforms, and particularly to fit within a specific aircraft weapons envelope, utilising existing onboard missile rail interface systems to maximise interoperability with existing [weapons] systems,” the spokesperson added. The customer and the specific air platform were not disclosed.

The Trident launcher is in the concept development phase, at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 5. “We have not yet live-fire tested the launcher and the TRL 6 timeline has not yet been set,” the spokesperson told Janes . “The initial testing platform[s] have yet to be finalised but we should see initial live-fire testing with a field testable unit as early as spring of 2022,” the spokesperson added.

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