Thales and Rheinmetall join forces to equip German helicopters with rockets

During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Western air and ground forces found that the use of rockets, whether from combat aircraft or helicopters, dramatically exposed aircraft to anti-aircraft defenses. opponents, and small arms fire. Indeed, to obtain sufficient precision, the devices were forced to approach it as closely as possible. Thus British and French jaguars returned from mission literally riddled with projectiles, requiring long and costly repairs. In fact, baskets of rockets became increasingly rare under the wings of combat planes, and equipped armed helicopters only in the context of asymmetrical conflicts and counterinsurgency warfare.

In the early 2010s new families of airborne rockets employing laser guidance. Not only do they increase the accuracy of strikes, but they also allow devices to fire their projectiles from a safe distance, and so as not to be taken advantage of by small arms retaliation fire or small caliber anti-aircraft guns. . Associated with the new high performance optronic devices which now equip modern combat aircraft, and with the induction ignition of the propellant charge allowing simplified and secure maintenance, the airborne rocket once again became, in just a few years, a technology combining efficiency and simplicity, as well as a particularly low cost of use, compared to other guided munitions.


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