The German Ministry of Defense (Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, BMVg) updated the list of equipment that will be supplied to Ukraine including 20 70mm rocket launchers mounted on pick-up trucks on January 4. In January 2022, German defense procurement agency (Bundesamt fur Ausrüstung Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, BAAINBw) ordered 2.75-inch (70mm) high-explosive rockets from Rheinmetall Waffe Munition (RWM) for an amount €19.92 million. Thales and Rheinmetall have developed together a 70mm rocket launcher for Germany’s Tiger Mk III helicopters. The new FZ209 MOD.2 rocket will feature the FZ71 HE warhead and FZ90 MOD.4 rocket motor with reduced ejecta.
RWM and Thales to jointly develop future guided and unguided 70mm-rockets for the German market, to be installed on helicopters and other platforms. In April 2022, Rheinmetall has demonstrated the laser-guided rocket firing capabilities of its Mission Master SP Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV) during a live-fire demonstration in Sweden. The UGV was equipped with a Rheinmetall Fieldranger Multi remotely controlled weapon station armed with two seven-tube 70mm rocket launchers from Thales Belgium. For the demonstration, the A-UGV fired Thales FZ275 70 mm Laser-guided Rockets (LGRs) at a 4×4 vehicle located 4 km away from the firing point.
The FZ275 LGR is the lightest and longest range 70 mm/2.75-inch LGR in its class, delivering metric precision and accuracy, hence providing unfailing ground support to armed forces. This rocket complies with the armies’ requirement for precise and reliable ammunitions capable of reducing exposure to danger and avoiding collateral damage which nowadays causes injuries to civilians. The FZ275 LGR guided rocket closes the gap between the long-range high-value missiles and the shorter range guns/cannon and unguided rockets, thus affording a full range of precision effects from a platform to defeat soft and light armoured targets.
Thales Belgium SA (formerly Forges de Zeebrugge FZ) is the technology and innovation leader specialized in the field of 70mm air-to-ground rocket systems (2.75” NATO Standard) in the defence market throughout the world. Thales Belgium is one of the unique companies capable of providing a complete 70mm rocket system (ammunition, rocket launcher and firing control system) and handling all the services linked to manage the air-ground rocket systems and ensure their integration on the different carriers. 70mm calibre has been adopted not only in the NATO member states, but also by 55 countries and 70 armies worldwide.