The L4, officially designated the Rocket, 105mm, L4 is a light anti-tank weapon in use by certain elements of the Sirian Army, the System Guard, and elsewhere. Manufactured by the Hrondfor Arsenal Corporation, it was initially conceived as a simple yet effective method of providing organic anti-tank capability to dismounted infantry. It is also marketed as an attractive export weapon for nations that may not have the money or time to invest in bulky, expensive and technically complex ATGMs - effective firepower "on the cheap", in other words. In addition, it was intended to provide a solution for arming irregular units whose aims aligned with those of the Sirian Union without implicating the nation in the process.
A shoulder launched, lightweight weapon, the L4 launcher consists of a 950mm long slender tube made of lightweight metal. It is sheathed partially in plastics to shield the user from the heat of repeated firing. A blast attenuator at the rear of the launcher significantly reduces the back blast produced by firing, though it is still inadvisable to stand too close to the rear of the weapon. A pistol grip and foregrip are used to hold the weapon steady, whilst a optical sight and iron sights are provided for aiming. The optics also come with special lens filters for certain conditions. More expensive models can come equipped with a small smart scope that automatically calculates the correct adjustment for variables, as well as an integrated night vision system.
Its very robust construction has stood it in good stead, with the L4 rarely failing to fire even in extremely adverse conditions. Furthermore, its light weight and relatively small size for a launcher has made it easy to transport and conceal. One of the more inspired choices in its design is the over-bore calibre of the munitions it can load. This allows nations to devise new types of warhead safe in the knowledge that the L4 would happily accept the new ammunition. Easy operation and maintainenance further enhance its attractiveness.
As an unguided weapon, its accuracy suffers significantly in situations where visibility is obscured. Crosswinds can also blow the projectiles it fires off-course. However, these are problems that it shares with other unguided lightweight rocket launchers. It can disable or destroy unprotected and light/medium armoured vehicles easily, but it can only achieve disabling or penetrating hits on tanks with side or rear hits.
- L4N1: The original version, first manufactured in 3531. Although effective, it was quickly superseded by later models.
- L4N3: The current model. Equips System Guard units and certain infantry in Sirian space.
- L4K3: A lightened and shortened model designed for light infantry or urban combat. It can split into two separate pieces for easy transport.
- L4R3: The export version. It can be modified to the customer's preferences (for example, modified triggers and other mechanisms to suit races without fingers), or purchased as is. Purchased by Knotar, the rebel forces during the Freedom War, and the Zehir.
One of the L4's main claims to fame is the dizzying array of warheads and kits available for its launcher, allowing it to handle any situation if loaded with the right ammunition. A non-exhaustive list is provided below:
- HEAT: The absolute basic warhead, this is a bog standard anti-armour round.
- Tandem: The standard warhead in Sirian service, this is intended to defeat cage, slat, reactive, and similar types of armour. It uses two charges - one to defeat any defences or to provide an entry hole, whilst the second is what actually destroys or disables the enemy vehicle.
- Frag: This warhead detonates in a shower of shrapnel on contact, making it excellent for attacking non-armoured or lightly armoured vehicles and personnel.
- Airburst: At a pre-set height/distance selected by the user, this rocket bursts into flak, threatening any low flying vehicles or infantry behind cover.
- Thermobaric: Capable of setting targets on fire and generating significant overpressure, the thermobaric round is useful for clearing fortifications (both hasty and prepared) or disabling armour.
- SMART: Standing for Stand-alone Munition guidance for Anti-Tank RockeTs, this kit easily snaps on to existing warheads of all types and allows them to home in to a target via several different methods (specified by the customer).
- Range Extender: Attached to the bottom of regular L4 rockets, this extra rocket charge doubles the range of the L4. Can be combined with SMART for extra effectiveness. This particular combo is often nicknamed "SMARTER" (SMART Extended Range).
- Training: Simulating the characteristics of real L4 ammunition with exacting accuracy, it allows L4 teams to become proficient in its use.
- Illumination: Designed to be fired high into the air, a drogue deploys at the apex of the rocket's flight. The rocket then slowly drifts downwards, illuminating the ground very brightly. Rare.
- Sensor: Built on the same body as the illumination rocket, the sensor munition automatically links up with the sensors of nearby friendly units and broadcasts whatever it detects to them. However, it can only provide this information for as long as it remains airborne. Rare.
- Smoke: Upon impact, this rocket releases a shower of thick sensor opaque smoke. Useful for breaking contact with the enemy and/or screening movement. Rare.