|Manufacturer:||Forges da Zeebrugge FZ|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
|Name:||Multiple rocket launcher|
Developed specifically for the export market by Forges de Zeebrugge SA, the 70 mm (40-round) LAU97 is a highly mobile light artillery rocket launcher system designed to provide saturation and holding fire at the regimental level. As far as is known this system has not been deployed by any country in NATO.
Recent information has stated that the Army of Shajah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took delivery of 18 of these systems, fitted on the rear of a French ACMAT VLRS 4.15 LRM (4 × 4) cross-country truck chassis.
The company has now ceased marketing of this land based multiple rocket launcher system.
The LAU97 system of a launcher box with five horizontal rows of eight 70 mm tubes and a 360° traversable base that allows elevation arcs of 0 to +55°. The system can be fitted on any military vehicle or trailer capable of carrying 1,200 kg payloads. The launcher's azimuth and elevation laying is performed by either electric motors or handwheels. A BR2 mortar sight or artillery panoramic sight is fitted for aiming the system with an electrically operated remote-control unit for firing.
The 70 mm unguided rockets can be launched either singly or in ripple sequences up to the full 40-round salvo, which takes less than 6 seconds. Using the FZ90 solid propellant rocket motor and a 4.3 kg warhead, the maximum range is 9,000 m at a firing angle of 40° elevation. The rockets, using the standard FZ-68 70 mm rocket motor and a 4.3 kg warhead, have a maximum range of 7,900 m at a launcher elevation of +40°; if the elevation is set at +15° then the range is reduced to 6,000 m. If the Mk 40 rocket motor is used the maximum range at +40° elevation is reduced to 7,500 m.
A full complement of 70 mm unguided rockets can saturate an area measuring 200 × 300 m at maximum range. The FZ-100 6.2 kg cargo warhead with a payload of nine 0.48 kg anti-personnel/anti-tank bomblets is also available. The bomblets have a lethal radius of 10.5 m and are capable of penetrating up to 105 mm of conventional steel armour plate. The submunitions are released by a delay-adjustable time fuze over the target area.
Other warheads available include: the 4.3 kg FZ210 practice impact marking practice; the 3 kg FZ-49 anti-armour capable of piercing more than 350 mm of conventional steel armour plate; the 4.3 kg FZ-71 anti-personnel which forms more than 8,000 fragments on detonation and is lethal to between 18 and 21 m radius; and the 4.9 kg M257 illuminating type with a 120 second duration and one million candle lighting capacity. The launcher is operated by a crew of three, a layer, a commander and a gunner, who also reload the system by hand.
Early in 2006, the manufacturer stated that production of this system was complete and it was no longer being marketed.
There is also a towed version.
The FZ90 rocket motor with the flash warhead FZ181 is used in the Roxel (previously the Rocket Motors Division of RO Defence) Reduced Range Practice Rocket (RRPR), which was developed to meet the requirements of the British Army. This is now used by the British Army and was also purchased by Norway for its MLRS.
This is very similar to the Belgian system and has been developed by Hanwa. Details are given in a separate entry.