first published on October 9, 2015 by Josh
The Flechette, or little arrow as known by the french, is an extremely deadly anti-personnel weapon.
This style of weapon system emerged during WW1. It was originally dropped from biplanes on top of entrenched infantrymen from above. The weapon was greatly feared by the Germans in the trenches because of it’s destructive capability. The tactic in practice was to fly above the German trench lines and drop the flechette in batches of 500.
Since the introduction of the flechette, this simple weapon system has undergone serious reconstruction. It has been added to the arsenals of small arms via the 12 gauge shotgun and various underwater platforms. They have also been integrated into field artillery, tank munitions, and rockets.
In particular the 70mm rocket fired from the Cobra, and Apache gunship platform is especially dangerous. It takes the weapon system back to its original aerial delivery roots, and comes in a package of 96 little arrows per rocket.
The flechettes are released from the rocket before impact via a timed detonation in the air. Fins on the rear of the dart stabilize them in flight and they are propelled by the kinetic energy of the release mechanism. In modern flechettes the darts lose rigidity upon impact and bend into a hook once they enter their target. If you get hit with a flechette, you’re gonna have a bad day.