Belgium-based firearms manufacturer, FN Herstal integrated its self-contained airborne pod system onto Airbus’ H145M helicopter.
This system, demonstrated and qualified by Airbus as part of the so-called HForce program, is based on an all-in-one concept including the worldwide exclusivity by FN Herstal: the .50 cal FN M3P machine gun.
FN Herstal airborne fixed-forward firing solutions provide military forces with the highest level of operational capability. Fitted with standard lugs, FN Pods can be mounted onto helicopters and subsonic aircraft equipped with 14’’ NATO standard suspension release units.
Today, the showcased Airbus’ H145M is equipped with 2 FN HMP400 Pods but, depending on configuration, FN Pods can come with:
+ 250 rounds (FN HMP250) or 400 rounds (FN HMP400) ammunition box with links collector or links and cases collector,
+ or 250 rounds and 3x70mm (2.75’’) rocket launcher tubes (FN RMP). Existing FN HMP250 or FN HMP400 can be upgraded to FN RMP configuration using FN conversion kits.
Each version is available with a MIL-STD-1760 compliant digital architecture making the FN Pods fully digital and ready for easy integration into modern platforms. They can be operated from FN or non-FN Armament Management Systems (AMS).
FN Pod Specs:
+ Operates .50 cal FN M3P machine gun especially designed by FN Herstal
+ Compact and lightweight
+ Easy to install
+ Maximum accuracy and high hit probability
+ High rate of fire (1,100 RPM per pod) – short time on target
+ High firepower combining .50 cal (12.7x99mm NATO) and rockets
+ Optional spent links (and cases) collector
+ Anti cook-off device
+ Only officially qualified fixed-forward firing solution for the FN M3P
Beside the H145M, FN Herstal’s products are also qualified on other Airbus platforms.
The FN Pods belong to the comprehensive range of FN Herstal’s integrated weapon systems based on 4 pillars:
Airborne Fixed-Forward Firing Solutions, Airborne Crew Served Weapon Solutions, Land and Sea Mounted Weapon Solutions and Remote Weapon Stations (RWS).