Arnold Defense and Electronics, Missouri, is awarded a $56,518,359 contract for 2.75-inch (70mm) rocket launchers, subcomponents, and support for Navy, Army, Air Force and Foreign Military Sales requirements. Work will be performed in Arnold, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by May 2028. Fiscal 2023 procurement of ammunition (Air Force) funds in the amount of $2,057,908 (60%); fiscal 2022 procurement of ammunition (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,322,500 (39%); and fiscal 2021 procurement of ammunition (Navy) funds in the amount of $28,750 (1%), will be obligated at the time of award, of which $28,750 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers. The company are the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels, and vehicles. Core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by U.S. Army helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy; and the 7-round LAU-131 used by the U.S. Air Force. Arnold Defense also supports dozens of international customers through the Dept. of Defense’s foreign military sales (FMS) program and direct military sales (DMS) with allied countries that are pre-approved through the U.S. State Department.
The LAU-61 G/A is a digital rocket launcher that allows for the selection of rocket tubes without the requirement of the sequential intervalometer. The digitalization provides the ability to choose the appropriate warhead for different scenarios. The LAU-61 G/A is used primarily by the U.S. Navy and is only available through Foreign Military Sales. The LAU-68 F/A is primarily utilized by the U.S. Navy. Although it resembles the LAU-131 A/A, this launcher has a thermal coating that prolongs the cook-off time. Additionally, the LAU-68 F/A has one firing connector, unlike the two found on the LAU-131 A/A. This launcher often gets mistaken for the LAU-68 F/A, which can be distinguished by its thermal coating and lack of dual firing connections. Its length allows for the successful firing of APKWS II. Like the LAU-61 G/A, the LAU-68 F/A is only available through Foreign Military Sales.
Primarily utilized by the U.S. Air Force, the LAU-131 A/A is an extended length version of the LAU-131/A. This modification makes the LAU-131 A/A capable of firing APKWS II. This launcher ofter gets mistaken for the LAU-68 F/A, which can be distinguished by its thermal coating. Designed for the U.S. Army, the M260 Lightweight Launcher is the lightest (35 lbs, 15.9kg) launcher made by Arnold Defense. The M260 can be found on a variety of rotary aircraft, most commonly in AH models. Predominantly used by the U.S. Army Apache Program, the M261 Lightweight Launcher is a light weight (80 lbs/ 36.3kg) launcher that brings a large amount of firepower. Providing 19 shots each, the M261 can fire many types of Hydra 70 rockets.