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DSA 2018: Thales offering FZ275 LGR for Malaysian Army future's MD530G helicopters

At DSA 2018, Thales, through its local partner, Destini Prima Sdn Bhd (DPSB), is proposing its latest FZ275 Laser Guided Rocket for the Malaysian Army Aviation actual and future aircraft, and specifically for the six MD530G light attack helicopters the service purchased in February 2016.

FZ 275 Thales at DSA 001 Thales' FZ275 Laser Guided Rocket at DSA 2018

On April 17, Thales announced the qualification of its FZ220 rocket launcher for unguided and guided munition (70mm) on the latest MD530G selected by the Malaysian Army. This qualification follows the trials ran in Arizona, in Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), a United States Army facility in March 2018, were the helicopter fired the FZ275 70 mm laser-guided rocket (LGR) and unguided ammunition using the FZ90 rocket motor.

This qualification takes place while McDonnell Douglas is currently modernizing the Malaysian Army Aviation light helicopter capabilities with six MD530G choppers.

Low mass is of utmost importance in helicopter applications. Thales’ light weight rocket launchers made out of composite material are on average about 50% lighter than comparable metallic rocket launcher and have no corrosion issue. They have been especially developed for rotary wings due to limitation of payload. This important milestone is paving the way for FZ rockets integration on the RMAF future fleet of light attack choppers. 

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is already using FZ 2.75"/70mm rockets with its fleets of Boeing F/A-18D Hornet and BAE Systems Hawk Mk108/Mk208 aircraft since three years, said a representative of Destini Prima Sdn Bhd (DPSB). The service is now looking at bolstering this capability with the FZ275 LGR, he added. 

FZ275LGR can reach a hit-target ability with less than one meter (CEP<1m). Due to the Joint Fire Support Team marking the target even moving vehicles progressing at a speed up to 60km/h can be destroyed. The maximum operational range for laser guided rocket FZ275LGR is about 6 km. The advantage of the laser guidance is its precision to minimise collateral damage.

FZ 275 Thales at DSA 002MD Helicopters MD530G successfully testing the FZ220 lightweight rocket launcher