The front steering (FS) launcher is one of two concepts that have been considered for the ITER electron cyclotron heating upper launcher by the European Union. During the development of a detailed conceptual design, the team involved with the FS launcher project listed all of the critical issues associated with installing an FS launcher in the ITER upper port, and then work was concentrated on providing a solution to each of the critical design issues. A similar procedure was performed for the alternative launcher option (remote steering launcher). These actions helped the ITER International Team evaluate the two systems and then choose a final optimum launcher. This evaluation occurred at the end of 2005, with both systems having equivalent reliability, but the FS offered significant enhancement in the physics performance. These differences led ITER-IT to select the FS launcher as the reference design. The goal of this paper is to provide a generalized review of the critical design issues and their solutions as they pertain to the FS launcher. In addition, the overall design and performance of the FS launcher is given along with a brief description of an extended performance launcher design that relaxes the engineering constraints, while increasing the physics capabilities.