Thales has been awarded a contract from Airbus Helicopters to test its rocket systems to boost the H145M’s mission capability. This contract follows the selection of both Thales rocket systems (70 mm NATO and 68 mm Induction) to provide such capabilities to Airbus Helicopters’ platforms equipped with its new weapon management system, “HForce.”
In October 2017, Airbus Helicopters completed a ballistic development test of an HForce weapon system on a H145M platform at the Bakony Combat Training Centre in Hungary. The system test included unguided 70 mm / 2.75” rockets (with a FZ231 12 tube launcher) as well as a helmet-mounted sight display by Thales.
In December 2017, Thales test fired a 70mm / 2.75” (FZ275) laser-guided rocket from an H145M platform at the Älvdalen test range of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration Flight test centre, in an adverse and challenging environment. With precision to within one metre, the guided air-to-ground rocket improves target engagement capabilities while reducing platform vulnerability.
A Thales Aculeus Induction Laser Guided rocket was also successfully test fired from a Tiger Combat Helicopter in 2014. Final qualification for both laser-guided products is planned for the end of 2019. With Thales Laser Guided Rockets and Scorpion, the new monocular helmet-mounted sight display reference for Light Armed Helicopters, Thales aims to increase HForce’s efficiency. Scorpion uses Hybrid-Optical motion tracking during the critical phase before firing, saving time and avoiding any misunderstanding between gunner and pilot.