Our site uses cookies to improve and maintain our website. By using this site, we have assumed that you are happy with this; if you are not, please read our cookie policy and change your cookie settings. Find out more about cookies

Hercules Pneumatic Launcher

The QinetiQ Target Systems Hercules pneumatic launcher can launch Unmanned Air Vehicles with an all-up-weight of up to 250kg and can achieve and maximum launch speed of 55m/s. The Hercules uses a low pressure pneumatic system operating at up to 10 bar. The design of the launcher provides a smooth acceleration along the entire length of the 16-metre launch rail which, for ease of transportation, can be folded. The launcher shuttle accepts a range of custom adapters for different Unmanned Air Vehicle types and is arrested at the end of the launch rail by a water brake system.

The Hercules launcher can be deployed rapidly and the dual compressors ensure that the Banshee launch pressure is reached in as little as five minutes. A differential hydraulic drive system is provided for manoeuvring the launcher at the launch site and independently-controlled hydraulic support legs provide a kneeling facility to allow a degree of levelling.

The launcher is operated by one person from a remote control panel to ensure safety is maintained. Turn-around time is kept to a minimum as the launcher can be pressurised while the shuttle is being reset.

The launcher is mounted on a single-axle trailer with pneumatic suspension and brakes. The trailer, which is equipped with a NATO tow hitch, has UK Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). 

Key Features

Launch speeds to 55 metres/second

Air vehicles to 250kg mass

Low pressure system

Simple design and operation

Easy maintenance and repair

Low acquisition cost

Rapid deployment

Fast turnaround time