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IAV 2022: FN and Thales demonstrate RWS rocket capability

FN Herstal has been working with Thales Belgium to demonstrate a guided rocket capability that could be added to the FN deFNder Remote Weapon Station (RWS) system.

Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference being held in London from 24 to 27 January, an FN spokesperson noted that proof of concept tests were initially conducted with Thales France in 2020 using a 68 mm unguided rocket, before they joined with Thales Belgium to use a 70 mm guided rocket in test firings in March 2021. This was understood to have used the Thales FZ275 and incorporated a semi-active laser seeker; the tests were reported to have achieved an accuracy of 1 m at a range of up to 7 km.

The rockets are launched from pods of two but, depending on customer requirements, could have a second pod added and are intended to complement the existing 12.7 mm machine gun and modular deFNder RWS. This will add precision and range from 2 km up to 7 km and therefore well beyond the machine gun's effective range.

At Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 6, neither company was prepared to disclose who the possible customers are but there had been interest from several delegations with whom they will look to support the transition to TRL 7 once an order is received.

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