"Kayel Solutions (KLSol) have won 'Best of Show' 26 years running for their clever adaptation of the Infrared Missile launcher. Based on the launcher mounted by the F-29 Anaconda and the E-41 Destroyer, the KLSol version is a tightly integrated set of standardized components that can easily swap between a hundred different classes of ship with only a minor, dealer serviceable tweak of the software. The KLSol IR Missile Launcher does produce a fair amount of heat for such a small unit, but it's easily compensated for."
The IR Missile Launcher is a weapon that uses IR Missiles as ammunition.
"The Infrared Missile uses the simplest of tracking systems to deliver its small payload. It's not much to look at, but it's cheap and promiscuously available. The weapon itself can be loaded into a number of aftermarket launchers, including several highly illegal handheld ones used by Rebellion Vacuum Soldiers."
The IR Missile is an ancient technology originally developed for atmospheric combat on Earth. The principle is very simple: starships are significantly warmer than surrounding space, so an infrared sensor recognizes a target by its heat signature and guides a missile to the 'hot spot'. IR missiles are cheap, compact, and widely available across the galaxy.
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IR missiles have three significant drawbacks - they are vulnerable to countermeasures (via 'IR jamming'), if they do strike the target, they pack less explosive punch than other missile weapons, and their poor guidance systems cause them often to miss their targets.
They do, however, have a greater refire rate and payload capacity, making them more effective on targets that have a concerted point defence. They are also good for pirating because missile launches make their target hostile. This is good to catch ships about to go into hyperspace. Also, their launchers are the smallest of the guided missile launchers in the game.
To purchase an IR Missile Launcher or missiles in Federation space, you must possess a valid Missile Weapons License. Illegal versions are available without licenses at a few shady outfitters, most notably at Simpson in the Aldebaran system and Altia in the Altair system. These can be fired alongside the legal version, doubling your damage. If scanned by a federation ship when in possession of them or any illegal outfit you will be attacked.