The 70mm Hydra rocket has long been a mainstay of American helicopter gunships and aircraft. Recently, a laser-guided version known as the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System was deployed and proved its lethality on the battlefield.
But now, these rockets can be fired from the ground.
According to a report by Defense News, Arnold Defense, which makes the launchers used for unguided Hydra rockets and the APKWS, has now designed one for ground vehicles, ranging from the Supacat LRV 600 used y special operations units to armored fighting vehicles.
The system is said to also have potential applications for maritime assets and dismounted infantry units. A release by Arnold Defense claims that the weapon will be able to reach about 6.5 kilometers, or roughly four miles.
“The team has turned this concept on its head with the advancement of guided rocket technology to meet the modern demands of land-based, vehicle mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare, for special and conventional forces,” the release said.
The unguided version of the Hydra rocket has long been used by helicopters like the AH-64 and AH-1 for area suppression. According to DesignationSystems.net, a wide variety of warheads are available, ranging from unitary high-explosive to white phosphorous to flechette rounds.
“We’re already exceedingly well established in the air environment with our rocket systems being used on air platforms globally,”Arnold Defense CEO Jim Hager said in the release announcing Fletcher. “Moving that success into the land environment with our 2.75-inch rocket systems fitted to wheeled and tracked vehicles, as well as in a dismounted role, will provide ground forces with an entirely new capability.”
The system went on display at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London. Arnold Defense anticipates that the system will be ready for sale by the end of 2018.