The Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher is a vehicle that the Air Raider can call on in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair.
The Naegling is a single-seat tracked self-propelled multiple missile launcher, and the closest thing to a controllable artillery piece that the Air Raider can access outside of certain BM03 Vegalta variants. It handles a little awkwardly since the launcher makes the vehicle top-heavy and prone to wobbling alarmingly. In EDF 2025 the Naegling is slow and ponderous, while in 4.1 it is fairly fast, being about halfway between the Epsilon Armored Railgun and E551 Gigantus.
The Naegling's only weapon is its launcher; it is fairly long-ranged, and can lock on to up to ten targets at a time. There are two types: the standard "Homing Rocket Cannon" fires single missiles with a small amount of splash damage that are capable of destroying buildings, while the "Convergence Guided Rocket Cannon" models fire missiles that split into four as they approach their target. These sub-missiles are "hittiles" that strike their target directly with no blast effect, and cannot destroy buildings even if they hit them before dividing.
Like all guided missile launchers in the two games, the Naegling locks on to targets using a red bounding box to indicate the lock-on search area, which on the Naegling is most of the middle of the screen. It seems to lock on to the central "origin bone" of an enemy's 3D model rather than their hitbox; for normal enemies this makes no difference, but on very large enemies like bosses it may need to be pointed at their approximate middle to actually get a lock. Like other guided weapons, it cannot fire at all if it is not locked on. It is not particularly clear what method the game engine uses to determine what enemies to lock on to, but the player has little control over what things it chooses. Locking on does not require line of sight to the target; anything within the bounding box and within range will be targeted.
As with all guided missiles, the Naegling will "remember" locks for a few seconds even if they are no longer within the bounding box, allowing the launcher to be pivoted upwards to fire over intervening buildings when it is locked on to ground targets. The missiles fly in a straight line for about a second before their guidance engages and they start to manoeuvre: they have excellent turning performance and homing ability, and very rarely miss unless they hit something else before reaching their target.
Being an artillery piece not designed for front-line combat, the Naegling has extremely weak armor, with the top-level version actually significantly less durable than the top-level attack helicopters.
After firing there is a brief pause while the Naegling reloads (presumably) during which it cannot acquire locks. In EDF 2025 a Naegling would skip its reload pause if the driver exited and re-entered the vehicle, allowing it to be fired much faster than it normally could. This no longer works in 4.1. As compensation, the vehicle's ammunition payload is doubled in 4.1 and the movement speed of all Naeglings is also approximately doubled.
The Naegling is a classic "glass cannon," able to take down groups of foes easily but going down just as easily itself if they can close range and attack directly. It can easily lay waste to a horde of approaching Ants or Spiders and is effective against Hornets and standard Drones. Its missiles are generally too weak to take down Crimson Ants unless overlevelled, and Dragons tend to close range too quickly for it to get more than one shot off.
Since it has no secondary weapon and the missiles need to turn completely around to engage a target at close range because of their manoeuvring delay, it is virtually helpless in close-range combat. It can be protected with the Air Raider's forcefield generators, though these will only hold out for so long against a concerted assault.
Since the Naegling is so fragile, it is best kept far from combat, which is not really an option the two games believe in giving the player. Missions where a lot of NPCs are available to distract the enemy like Bug Tower can be good, and turrets can help to some extent, but the Naegling is at its best in online multiplayer, providing long-range support as other classes engage the bugs up close. It can also be used very well by a single player using two characters in local co-op, occasionally swapping to the second controller or keyboard to fire the Naegling in support of the other character.
The low health of the Naegling also means that any protective turrets need to be placed carefully, to prevent them destroying the vehicle they are supposed to be protecting. In general it is best to put them on scenery above it if possible, such as on low walls or piles of rubble; putting them on top of it will often result in the guns hitting the launcher unit, since, like the Epsilon's gun, it has a hitbox even though it does not have a collision box.
Normally a Naegling can only lock one missile onto any given target, but as with other multi-lock systems, it can lock on to a Laser Guide Kit or Guide Beacon with all of its missiles at once. This allows it to be used to take down even very tough targets; a full volley from a Naegling XEM deals 35,200 damage, more than enough to kill a Hector on Inferno and over 50% more than a shot from the top-level Epsilon Blast E.
In EDF 2025 it suffered from a low ammo count allowing for just five full lock-ons. This was often too little to actually earn another supply drop when firing at standard enemies, forcing the Air Raider to go for periods where they had no vehicle at all. With the doubled ammo count, it no longer has this problem in 4.1.
Like other vehicles that fire multi-shot bursts, getting out while a Naegling is firing will cause it to immediately stop even if it has remaining lock-ons. This can be useful if the player realises they are about to aggro a group of enemies they do not want to, though it is more something to be aware of if the player is planning to get out and summon another or place support equipment.
All Naeglings have a crew capacity of 1 and reload for 3,500 credits. Numbers in (brackets) indicate changed stats in EDF 4.1.
|Level||Name||Health||Armament||Ammo||Fire rate (shots / sec)||Damage||Lock
|6||Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher||420||Homing Rocket Cannon||50 (100)||0.4||140 x 10||700|
|21||Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher XM||570||Convergence Guided Rocket Cannon||50 (100)||0.4||76 x 4 x 10||700|
|43||Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher D1||1710||Homing Rocket Cannon||50 (100)||0.4||570 x 10||700|
|65||Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher M3||3900||Homing Rocket Cannon||50 (100)||0.4||1300 x 10||700|
|80||Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher XEM||6600||Convergence Guided Rocket Cannon||50 (100)||0.4||880 x 4 x 10||700|
- Næġling was a legendary sword acquired by the Anglo-Saxon hero Beowulf after the destruction of his original sword, Hrunting, in his fight against the mother of the monster Grendel. It served Beowulf faithfully for many years, but ultimately was broken in half by the hero's own strength in his final battle against a great dragon. Appropriately, the in-game Naegling is also likely to get its user killed if they try to battle dragons with it.
- The Naegling is based on the American M270 MLRS rocket launcher, although the real weapon is an artillery system that typically fires submunition rounds, not an anti-aircraft weapon. The Naegling is re-proportioned slightly, with the rocket launcher's turntable lifted up to the level of the top of the driver's cab rather than the top of the launcher being in line with it, presumably so the vehicle cannot accidentally shoot itself if fired directly forwards.
- The name has several common mistranslations in internet sources, including "Neguringu" (the direct translation of the Japanese phonetic spelling) and "Naegring."
- "Homing rockets" are generally called "missiles."
- NPC Naeglings appear in some missions of EDF 4.1, particularly those with large numbers of airborne foes, and are very useful since they are usually deployed far away from the principle group of enemies in a level. Their lock-on sounds can be heard by every player.