Table 3.3.LAU-115 Technical Characteristics
LAU-115 SERIES GUIDED MISSILE
The LAU-115 series guided missile launcher (fig.
3-22) is a reusable launcher. It completes the F/A-18
aircraft suspension and launching system for the AIM-7
Sparrow missile. The technical characteristics can be
found in table 3-3. The forward internal grooves of the
rail provide a guide and support for the forward missile
mounting button. The external rail flanges are a guide
for the aft missile suspension lugs during firing. The aft
section of the rail consists of a removable fitting that
provides mounting for the aft missile suspension lugs.
The latch mechanism is composed of a detent cam
and keeper. The detent cam is spring-loaded down and
acts as a stop during missile loading. The cam
mechanism is constructed so the force created by the
missile motor during normal missile firing overcomes
the detent cam spring tension. This action lets the
missile button push the detent cam up, actuating the
An electrically operated solenoid is used to assure
that the missile is retained during sudden deceleration,
such as an arrested landing. The keeper portion of the
latch mechanism is spring-loaded to the down position
and retains the missile during all periods of aircraft
acceleration. The keeper mechanism has an indicator.
When the keeper is in the down or latched position, the
indicator is flush with the launcher skin. If, during
missile loading, the missile button is not in its maximum
forward position, the indicator extends beyond the upper
launcher mold line. This indicates that the missile is not
properly latched in place. During loading, the missile
button can slide past the keeper, stopping when contact
is made with the detent cam.
During the unloading of a missile, the indicator bell
crank is supported in the launcher structure. It is
manually operated by using a 3/8-inch square drive tool.
The square drive end of the bell crank is accessible from
the side of the launcher. The launchers are suspended
from BRU-32 bomb racks in the outboard pylons. Two
LAU-7/A launchers can be attached for suspension of
the AIM-9 missiles.
For ground safety, an
actuator-operated safety device prevents inadvertent
loss of the AIM-7 missile.
LAU-116/A GUIDED MISSILE
The LAU-116/A guided missile launcher (fig. 3-23)
is a reusable launcher of the F/A-18 aircraft suspension
Figure 3-23.LAU-116/A guided missile launcher.