The FZ275 LGR – Laser Guided Rocket is a weapon system by Thales (formerly Forges de Zeebrugge). It is intended to provide a low-cost guided missile compatible with existing unguided 70mm rocket launch platforms. First successful firing of a FZ laser guided rocket FZ275 LGR on the NATO (TrÜbPl) firing range in Bergen with support of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). The target (3mx3m) at 4.6 km distance from a platform was successfully hit with an accuracy of about 0.5m. In December 2017, the test firings of FZ275 LGR Laser Guided Rocket were successfully conducted on a H145M platform at the Älvdalen test range of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration Flight test Centre, in an adverse and challenging environment. In April 2018, Thales Belgium successfully accomplished a firing campaign of its FZ275 LGR Laser Guided Rocket on-board RMAF’s (Royal Malaysian Air Force) HAWK and F/A-18 Hornet at Kota Belud (Borneo).
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. 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 HE (High Explosive) version of the FZ275 LGR is equipped with a HE warhead with impact fuze. The LGR can be also integrated to various platforms (aircraft, helicopter, UAV, Land Vehicle, Light Assault Aircraft, Naval platform). The FZ275 Guided Rocket provides superior accuracy and lethality, coupled with safety and durability offering state-of-the-art capability with an extremely low Cost/Kill from existing launchers.
The SAL-Laser Guided Rocket FZ275 LGR requires designation of the target by a laser designator. The rocket has an in-built laser seeker that can read a specially coded laser being reflected off a target. This target can be marked either before launching the rocket (LOBL – Lock-On Before Launch), after launch (LOAL – Lock-On After Launch) or even by a remote source, such as a soldier on the ground or another second flying platform. This versatility provides the helicopter with a far greater survivability and the ability to attack without moving into a target’s vision. FZ275 LGR can be fired from any standard FZ® rocket launcher. Special dedicated smart rocket launchers for helicopters (FZ606) and aircraft (FZ800) has been developped by Thales Belgium in order to offer LOBL and other capability such as Bi-directional communication with FZ275 LGR, rocket identifcation and detection and extended BIT (Build-in-test).
Thales Belgium has developed 2 different configurations for its laser guided rocket :
stand alone : easy and quick implementation of laser guided rocket FZ275 LGR on platforms with FZ® rocket system requiring only some minor modifications
integrated : full integration with full functionality increasing the capability envelope of FZ275 LGR guided rocket:
- inventory information exchange through the platform prior to launch
- rocket detection and identification
- in-flight laser code implementation
- LOBL (Lock-On Before Launch)
- Two (bidirectional) way communication between rocket, rocket launcher and the platform (cockpit)
- The smart digital rocket launchers FZ606 and FZ800 has been particularly developped by Thales Belgium in order to offer full capability (particularly LOBL) when firing its laser guiided rocket FZ275 LGR.