FN Herstal and Thales presents new concept of Remote Weapon Station armed with machine gun and rockets

At DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK, Belgian company FN Herstal in collaboration with the French company Thales presents a new concept of a remote weapon station armed with 12.7mm heavy machine and tube launchers FZ602 able to fire 70mm guided and unguided rockets that can be used against static and mobile ground targets.

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The new concept of FN Herstal Remote Weapon Station armed with 12.7mm machine and 70mm rocket launcher at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK. (Picture source Army Recognition)

With this new concept of remotely operated weapon station (RWS), FN Herstal and Thales have developed a dual effector proof of concept to illustrate the complementarity between machine guns, guided and unguided rockets for ground-to-ground applications. In fact, the 12.7mm machine gun can be used as a short-range weapon system at a distance of up to 2 km while the 70 mm rockets can be used against ground targets at a medium-range of up to 6 km.

In its close combat role, supporting first-line combatants, the direct fire of the 12.7mm machine gun and the 70mm rockets will ensure enhanced capability with complementary ranges and effects on target while in its indirect fire support role, the RWS will ensure higher accuracy at longer ranges on static and mobile targets.

This new concept of RWS is based on deFNder Medium fully designed and developed by FN Herstal. The weapon station can be armed with all FN Herstal machine guns up to .50 cal, including the unique FN® M3R machine gun with a high firing rate of 1,100 rpm.

The standard version of the deFNder™ Medium weapon station is equipped with and IR thermal uncooled camera which can be used for day and night combat operations mounted at the right side. One ammunition box is mounted at the left side with a capacity of 200 rounds of .50 caliber.
In option, the deFNder™ Medium weapon station can be equipped with a full range of accessories.

To extend the range capabilities of the FN Herstal deFNder medium station, a two tubes launcher system FZ602 is mounted on the top of the weapon station which is able to fire the FZ 70mm guided and unguided rockets developed by the Belgian company ‘Les Forges de Zeebrugge’ (FZ) which is part of Thales.

FZ rocket systems are qualified and in operational use on more than 300 platforms including Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland, Hindustan Aeronautics, BAE Systems, Embraer, General Dynamics, Hawker Beechcraft, and other aircraft manufacturers.

Guided and unguided FZ rockets can be fitted with different types of warhead and motors according to the mission's requirements to extend the combat range, lethality and enhance the precision effects of any platform.