LAU-7/A Guided Missile Launcher
The LAU-7/A launcher provides a complete launching system for the AIM-9 Sidewinder and the AGM-122 Sidearm missiles. The launcher is comprised of four major assemblies: the housing assembly, nitrogen receiver assembly, mechanism assembly, and power supply; and the following lesser assemblies: the forward fairing assembly, umbilical hook support assembly, fin retainer assemblies, aft snubber mount fitting assembly, aft fairing latch assembly, and forward and aft pylon adapter assemblies. The housing assembly is the main structural member of the launcher. It houses the remaining assemblies and includes provisions for mounting the launcher to the aircraft.
The guided missile launcher LAU-7A (series) is a reuseable single rail launcher which provides the mechanical and electrical interface between the missile and the launch aircraft. It houses the nitrogen receiver assembly used to cool the missile guidance system's infrared detector. The LAU-7 rail launcher from Varo is used to launch the Sidewinder on a variety of aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet, and the derivative Sidearm on the AH-1W SuperCobra. OV-10 carried the LAU-7/A launcher for mounting either rocket packages or missiles. The AGM-122A SIDEARM missile utilizes the LAU-7 series launcher. The LAU-7 SIDEWINDER launcher provides the electronic and mechanical interface between the missile and launch aircraft. The LAU-7 internal cooling capability (nitrogen bottle) is not used for SIDEARM application.
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