Rocket Launchers fire a single volley of inaccurate "dead-fire" missiles that lack onboard guidance. Despite their simple nature, their relatively light weight, compact size and low cost allows multiple launchers to replace a single large missile launcher or autocannon, offering reasonable first-strike ability. They have also been used on several battle armor designs, including the Trinity, Nephilim, and Asura.
The weapon first appeared in recognizable form on Terra during the Terran Alliance collapse. These early rocket launchers were (from a thirty-first century perspective) considered primitive. Rocket launchers were first fielded by the warring Terran political factions which were trying gain control of the planet and the Alliance itself. After Admiral McKenna's coup, the weapon fell out of use and became extinct.
In the early twenty-ninth century, the warring Pentagon Powers of the former Star League in Exile also developed and used primitive rocket launcher systems. Other than slight variations in the materials used in their construction, they were identical to the Terran Alliance's primitive launchers.
The first modern version of the rocket launcher was developed by the Marian Hegemony in 3064 from Man-Portable Rocket Launchers as a simple and crude replacement for other weapon systems in the more low-tech regions of the Periphery. These weapons were largely forgotten until the modern systems were reintroduced by the Marian Hegemony, but the new version had an even worse guidance system than its predecessors.
Types of Launchers
Several types of rocket launcher systems exist. For specifics about a particular type, see below:
Prototype rocket launcher batteries (usually from Early Spaceflight Terra, and the early Age of War era) work like their variants mentioned above, but with less accuracy (with a −1 rolled on the CBT cluster hit table).
- Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 26–27: "Trinity"
- Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 38–39: "Nephilim"
- Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 20–21: "Asura"
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 1, p. 14: "Background information & specs for Primitive Rocket Launcher 15 matches Pentagon Powers version"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 157: "Prototype Pentagon Powers Systems"
- TechManual, p. 229: "Rocket Launcher"
- Interstellar Operations, p. 73: "Rocket Launcher-P"