Technical Specifications: HPML Rocket Launcher
CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Delta Clearance
Filed: 20 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
The alien attack on Mumbai made our situation painfully clear. Their technology is far more advanced than ours. The complete inability of Commonwealth troops to make a dent in the Mumbai offensive revealed critical weaknesses in current military training and equipment. They lost three battalions just bringing the aliens to a standstill without inflicting significant casualties. PHALANX has to overcome these odds, and to do that we need the very best human technology has to offer.
The Excalibur Program was created to find the most effective weapons on Earth by reviewing their manufacturing standards, durability, operational record, and their combat performance in the situations where we've managed to bring the aliens to battle.
The South-African MPMDS (Multi-Purpose Missile Delivery System) has a classic, almost surgically clean name that completely belies its purpose. It is the heaviest infantry missile launcher on the market, able to fire anti-tank shells as easily as high-explosive rockets that turn infantry into hamburger. Originally intended as light field artillery, this weapon is fairly new; its only combat experience has been in Mumbai in the hands of Commonwealth troops. It was one of the handful of weapons that eventually turned the tide in the fighting -- and there is a good reason why.
Alien craft on the ground emit fantastic amounts of jamming and other EW (Electronic Warfare) activity. In fact, they emit so much of it that ordinary 'smart' missiles are rendered completely ineffective. If one type of alien EW doesn't fool the missile's relatively stupid electronic brain, another will. No amount of tinkering by Earth's military engineers has been able to fix the situation. The MPMDS, however, will remain effective against the alien invaders -- one of the few human missile launchers that can -- because its rockets carry no onboard guidance.
The rockets are 120mm monsters the size of artillery shells. They are fired out of a smoothbore barrel, fin-stabilised in flight, and have a maximum effective range of 70 metres. Surprisingly they are made up of only three parts: a rocket booster, a warhead and an impact trigger. This simplicity allows them to remain effective and reliable in the most hazardous situations. Though the rockets are not very accurate, they will devastate anything in their path, even aliens. It takes only one good hit from an MPMDS rocket to send the enemy flying.
Standard ammunition for this launcher includes: HE (High-Explosive) rockets, AA (Anti-Armour) rockets, and IC (Incendiary) rockets. New types of MPMDS ammo were being researched by Commonwealth manufacturers before the start of the war. We have all their data on file and could use it to create revolutionary new rocket types.
Along with the HPGL Grenade Launcher, this weapon will provide our troops the artillery support they need to survive and win through.
For PHALANX use, we have given this rocket launcher the classification HPML.
The HPML is best used in a support role, providing covering fire for our assault troops with high-explosive and/or incendiary rockets. However, care should be taken that friendly fire incidents do not occur, as this could have disastrous effects in a combat mission.
Friendly troops should be kept away from the rear of the launcher during firing; the hot exhaust gases are extremely dangerous to nearby humans. The HPML should not be fired at targets closer than 8 metres from the shooter. Violating these safety guidelines could result in serious injury or death to the shooter and other members of the team. If a target is closer than 8 metres, any shooter should immediately resort to his sidearm or a combat knife. Anything else would be suicide.
Along with sniper rifles and grenades, this is one of the few standard-issue human weapons that are fully effective against robotic aliens.