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Launchers - Missile Eject

LAU-142/A – AVEL - AMRAAM Vertical Eject Launcher

Stealth plays a major role in many of today’s aircraft missions. The Lockheed-Martin F/A-22 Raptor is the state-of-the-art in stealth technology. With the need to carry and eject AMRAAM missiles from within concealed weapons bays, Exelis, as part of the F/A-22 Team, developed a new launcher capable of achieving all internal bay armament delivery requirements.

The result is the LAU-142/A AMRAAM Vertical Eject Launcher (AVEL), which carries and ejects AIM-120C missiles from shallow internal missile bays for safe aircraft separation. Compact design, optimized for weight-to-stiffness performance, was achieved for the AVEL through state-of-the-art computer engineering, analysis and manufacturing processes.

The AVEL employs a highly-reliable, non-pyrotechnic energy system controlled by aircraft electrical and hydraulic power. When commanded for in-flight missile launch, the AVEL system charges, and then safely ejects the missile through the air-flow boundary layer in less than 1/10 of a second. Safe ground loading operations are conducted with the AVEL in a ground-safe extended position.

The Exelis AMRAAM Vertical Eject Launcher is the first in a new generation of non-pyrotechnic, low-weight, efficient aircraft armament delivery systems from the world leader in pneumatic S&RE.


AVEL Characteristics​ ​
Weight​ 115 lb​
Stroke Length​ 9 in
End of Stroke Velocity​ 27 FPS Nominal​
Ground Extend and Retract Time 3 s each​
Missle Restraint Throughout Stroke​
Optimized Weight-to-Performance Design Minimizes Deflection​ ​


LAU-147 – Missile Launcher for the F-35 Lightning II

The pneumatic S&RE capability is based on more than two decades of dedicated research and development in the various component technologies that are vital to a successful pneumatic S&RE system.

Exelis efforts have focused on developing, building and demonstrating all the essential elements of Pneumatic Suspension and Release Equipment Systems. These elements include the missile launchers, the pneumatic energy source and control system logic. We have devoted significant resources to developing such systems for use on advanced applications for the F-35 Lightning II, the MQ-9 Reaper and P-8A Poseidon. These pneumatic systems take advantage by eliminating cleaning and the logistics tail of the cartridges, thereby enhancing life cycle cost and overall system affordability.



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