Ground Strategic Strike.
The Swedish and Norwegian coastal defence forces use a ground based Hellfire launcher system know as Hellfire Shore Defence System (HSDS). The complete system consists of a pair of single rail launchers, a pair of control cables, pair of safe and arming boxes, four batteries and a control box with a designator.
Each single-rail launcher is in two parts 21.8kg (legs) and 26.2kg (rail and trunnion) Total weight is 48kg. Takes less than 8mins to assemble.
Weight of the other components are:-
|Laser Designator|| 11kg|
|Night Sight || 7.3kg|
|Launch Control Box|| 12.79kg|
| Control cable and reel|| 8.52kg|
|Safe and Arming box|| 3kg|
|Battery || 10.8kg|
A Hellfire Missile in its floating transport container weighs 71kg
Range of this system is given as 300-10,000m and for anti-shipping applications has a 9kg HE blast/ fragmentation warhead.
The above system with two launchers weighs about 193kg not including missiles. A lightened version of this system has considerable potential for broader applications. Carlton Meyer suggests that:-
"Airborne and Heliborne units could set up blocking positions in rough terrain to stop small numbers of tanks. Commandos would no longer have to penetrate security perimeters to destroy key facilities, they could set up and fire a Hellfire to destroy a target several kilometers away. This weapon could also be employed just a like a sniper rifle to destroy key personnel riding in vehicles.
Even regular infantry would find them valuable in rugged terrain. They could place these on key hilltops or rooftops by helicopter, or mules, and dominate roads in the area. Helicopters, small boats, and scout vehicles would fall victim to hidden Hellfire sniper teams. This future weapon exists today and should be part of all modern armies".
There is also now available the Brimstone missile, a fire and forget version of the Hellfire using a millimetric seeker. In my Airpower article I suggest that systems such as ground Hellfire or Fibre-optic missiles could be used by covert or special forces to attack strategic and high value targets.
Various nations make man-portable rocket systems such as single barreled versions of the Chinese Type 63 107mm or Russian 122mm Grad-P 9P132 rockets. Four or six shot multiple launchers for 68mm or 2.75" rockets are also available, a 6 x 68mm tripod launcher weighing 45kg. Generally such weapons are used for harassment but they also have potential for strategic applications too if fitted with Thermobaric, Electronic-Strike or Guided warheads.