Shephard recently witnessed new 12.7mm FN Herstal HMP400 gun pods and FZ220 70mm rocket launchers fitted to Airbus Helicopters AS550 C3e (since being renamed H125M) platforms of the Royal Thai Army (RTA).
FZ220 70mm rocket launchers (photo : fz)
These weapons will provide greater firepower for the RTA’s eight Fennec helicopters that are used mainly for armed reconnaissance missions, as well as forward air control, close air support, cavalry convoy escort, suppressive fire missions and to support drug suppression units in peacetime.
HMP400 gun pod with 12.7mm FN M3P machine gun (image : guns)
Forges de Zeebrugge (FZ) makes the FZ220, a seven-tube, 70mm, lightweight rocket launcher that weighs only 20kg. The FZ220 can fire FZ’s proprietary FFAR and WA rockets.
The HMP400 gun pods, meanwhile, mount a 12.7mm FN M3P machine gun especially designed by the company for airborne applications. It offers accurate suppressive and defensive fire against troops at ranges of up to 3,000m, and suppressive fire against light armoured vehicles out to 1,000m.
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