Representative image: HAL Hawk-i
Seeking to boost tactical capabilities of the Indian armed forces, HAL has awarded French aerospace and defence company Thales a contract to supply 135 2.75-inch (70-mm) rocket launchers.
Thales's fully certified, field-proven, competitive rocket launchers are suitable for use on both light and combat helicopters, the company said.
As a key differentiator for state-of-the-art helicopters and combat aircraft, they provide an excellent fit with requirements of the Indian armed forces, Thales said.
The Indian armed forces are involved in a wide range of deployments in remote theatres, conducting operations beyond the scope of traditional homeland defence for which they need to round out their available resources with a view to boosting their tactical capability, it said.
Thales's 2.75-inch (70-mm) rocket launchers are produced using composite material, making them an average of 50 percent lighter than metal launchers, and eliminating corrosion issues.
They offer best in class precision and reliability, providing crews with optimum support during missions, the company said in a release.
The solution to be supplied by Thales includes four 2.75-inch (70-mm) 12-tube rocket launchers, plus fire control capability and the T100 sighting system, as supplied under previous orders (more than 80 Advanced Light Helicopters have already been equipped with the solution).
The huge range of 2.75-inch (70-mm) munitions available for use with the launchers, from conventional rockets to Thales's laser-guided variant, encompasses a broad spectrum of the missions facing today's armed forces, it said.
"This new collaboration between Thales and HAL in the field of air-launched weaponry opens up new opportunities for supply of equipment to the Indian armed forces, and consolidates Thales's position in the Indian market," said Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP and Country Director, Thales in India.
With this, helicopter crews will see a significant improvement in their tactical capabilities during missions, he added.