7. Brazil ASTROS II
The Brazilian multiple rocket launch system, developed by Avibras, is a powerful weapon that has undergone several upgrades since the late 20th century. It has proven its worth in many wars and gained a strong reputation.
The system is built on a Tatra 817 10-ton all-terrain truck chassis, allowing it to travel at speeds of up to 100 km/h and cover a maximum distance of 500 km on a single battery charge. One of its key features is the modular design of its launch boxes.
These boxes can be easily swapped out to meet the specific needs of different military units. Each launch box has a different range for striking targets. The system can launch rockets of various sizes, ranging from 127 mm to 450 mm. It can also use the same launch box to fire five different rockets, enabling precise and concentrated strikes within a range of 9 to 90 kilometers.
Due to its impressive firepower capabilities, it has earned the nickname “Brazilian Vulcan.” The time required to recharge the system depends on the number and sizes of the launch boxes. Generally, using the supply truck’s crane, rockets can be replenished within 6 to 12 minutes. However, manual replenishment may take up to nearly 25 minutes, which can cause delays in combat operations.
In summary, the Brazilian multiple rocket launch system developed by Avibras is a versatile and highly effective weapon. Its mobility, modular design, and wide range of rocket options make it a formidable force on the battlefield.
6. Russian TOS-2
The Russian TOS-2 is the latest version of Russia’s heavy-duty multiple rocket launch system, set to be introduced in 2021. Unlike its predecessor, the TOS-1, which uses a wheeled chassis, the TOS-2 is built on a 6×6 Ural all-terrain truck.
The TOS-2 features a single launch box with three rows of eight tubes, providing 24 loading ports. It supports a rapid two-pronged launch, capable of firing 24 rockets within just 6 seconds.
Apart from standard 220mm rockets, it can also launch special thermobaric bombs with increased lethality, reaching a maximum range of 9 kilometers. These bombs are equipped with a potent trimethylaluminum incendiary agent, leaving no chance for anything to remain intact.
Its primary targets are enemy defensive positions, armored vehicles, and light transport vehicles at medium and close range. The TOS-2 boasts fully automated aiming, firing, and fire control systems and a radio-electronic defense system to counter precision strike weapons. During Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, it was deployed effectively, destroying important Ukrainian defensive positions.
In summary, the Russian TOS-2 is an advanced multiple rocket launch system mounted on a Ural all-terrain truck. It can rapidly launch many rockets or thermobaric bombs, devastating enemy positions and vehicles. Its automated systems, and radio-electronic defense capabilities make it a formidable weapon on the battlefield.
5. Israel Elbit Systems PULS
The PULS (Precise and Universal Launching System) is a long-range multiple rocket launch system initially developed by Israel Military Industries in 2007 and later upgraded by Lielbit in 2018. Its name reflects its precise and versatile nature.
The system features two modular launch boxes located at the rear of a chassis truck, allowing for easy replacement and adaptability to modern, fast-paced combat scenarios.
The launch boxes are designed to maximize carrying capacity while maintaining a compact structure to reduce costs. Elbit, the upgrading company, has developed custom launch boxes for different rockets, including 18 rockets of 122mm caliber (Accular), 10 rockets of 160 caliber (Accular), and 4 rockets of 300mm caliber (EXTRA), among others.
The PULS system can simultaneously launch rockets of various calibers to meet specific combat requirements. It boasts impressive range and accuracy. One of its rockets, called the “Eagle Catcher,” has a maximum range of 300 kilometers.
Another rocket, the EXTRA, ensures a striking accuracy within a 10-meter probability circle at distances up to 150 kilometers. Equipped with advanced navigation and communication computing systems, the Israel Defense Forces use the PULS, which is also widely exported.
In summary, the PULS is an advanced multiple rocket launch system known for its long-range capabilities, accuracy, and versatility. Its modular design allows for easy customization, and can launch rockets of various calibers simultaneously. With its advanced features and successful deployment by the Israel Defense Forces, it has become a sought-after system in international markets.
4. Russian 9K515 MLRS Tornado S
The Russian 9K515 MLRS Tornado S is an upgraded version of the Soviet Tornado BM30, with several enhancements to increase its power. The latest version of the Tornado S has undergone multiple updates, resulting in improved shooting accuracy by more than 5 times.
The MLRS is mounted on an 8×8 MAZ-543 military truck chassis, featuring a V-12 diesel engine with a maximum speed of 60 km/h and a battery range of 850 km. It can accommodate three auxiliary combat personnel and can be swiftly deployed for combat within 3 minutes.
Located at the rear of the truck, it is equipped with 12 launch tubes with a caliber of 300 mm. Within just 30 seconds; it can continuously launch 12 standard or non-standard rockets.
The arrangement of the launch tubes is similar to the BM30, with two sets of four tubes arranged side by side at the bottom, covered by four horizontally distributed tubes.
The Tornado S can employ various missiles, such as the 9M528 with a high-explosive warhead, the 9M55K with fragmentation, and the 9M55S with a high-pressure warhead. It utilizes standard missiles with a maximum range of 120 kilometers.
However, a 300 mm caliber 9M544 rocket can reach an extended range of 200 kilometers. Additionally, it is equipped with advanced features, including a GLONASS satellite positioning system, an automatic fire control system, and an NBC protection system.
In summary, the Russian 9K515 MLRS Tornado S is an upgraded version of the Tornado BM30, featuring enhanced shooting accuracy and capabilities. Mounted on a military truck chassis, it can swiftly launch a series of rockets with various warheads. Its extended range, advanced systems, and swift deployment make it a formidable weapon system.
3. Chinese PHL-03
The Chinese heavy-duty multiple rocket launch system developed by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) is highly regarded both domestically and internationally for its long-range capabilities and accuracy.
The system’s chassis is based on the 8×8 Wanshan WS2400 wheeled all-terrain truck, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 60 km/h on regular roads and covering a battery range of 650 km. It requires four auxiliary combat personnel and can swiftly transition from a marching state to combat deployment within three minutes.
Similar in appearance to the Russian 9K58 “Tornado,” this launch system weighs around 21 tons when empty and 22 tons when fully loaded. It features 12 rocket launch tubes stacked behind the chassis and can complete a salvo in just 38 seconds.
The system boasts an impressive range of up to 300 kilometers, which is rare worldwide. Furthermore, it supports the launch of standard missiles with high accuracy, comparable to short-range missiles.
In summary, the Chinese heavy-duty multiple rocket launch system developed by NORINCO utilizes an 8×8 wheeled chassis and offers exceptional long-range capabilities and accuracy. It closely resembles the Russian 9K58 “Tornado” in appearance. The system’s quick deployment, extensive range, and ability to launch standard missiles make it a highly sought-after system both domestically and internationally.
2. Chinese AR-3
The AR-3 (PHL-16) is a powerful long-range multiple rocket launcher system developed by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO). It is designed for large-scale land combat operations.
The AR-3 is mounted on an 8×8 wheeled truck that can traverse various terrains. With a weight of around 45 tons, it can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h and has an impressive range of 650 km before needing to refuel.
It carries two launch boxes, capable of firing either five 300mm caliber rockets or four 370mm rockets at a time. In addition, it can launch two TL-7B anti-ship missiles or two precision-guided 750mm rockets, giving it substantial firepower and the ability to strike targets effectively.
The rocket options China North Industries Corporation provided include uncontrolled and controllable types. The controllable BRE6 rocket, with a range of up to 220 kilometers, is particularly noteworthy. This range is significant as it enables the system to cover the relatively short distance between Taiwan and Fujian, enhancing China’s deterrence capabilities.
The AR-3 features a modular design for its launch boxes, allowing for quick swapping to meet different mission requirements. It requires a team of three well-coordinated operators to operate the system effectively.
Recently, the AR-3 achieved major success by securing a significant order worth approximately 1.4 billion from the UAE army. This is noteworthy because the UAE army had previously purchased more than 40 American HIMARS systems. Choosing the Chinese AR-3 over the HIMARS indicates the system’s strength and effectiveness. It demonstrates the UAE army’s recognition of the AR-3’s capabilities and its strategic vision.
1. American M142 HIMARS
The M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a lightweight multiple rocket launcher system developed for the U.S. Army in the late 20th century.
It is primarily mounted on the FMTV series medium tactical trucks, which have a payload of 5 tons, a 6.6-liter diesel engine, and a maximum speed of 86 kilometers per hour. Unlike the tracked chassis of the M270, the M142 uses a wheeled chassis, providing faster deployment and improved mobility.
The M142 HIMARS carries a pod similar to the M270 and can be equipped with six GMLRS (Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System) rockets or one ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missile. It can fire a wide range of rockets from the MLRS ammunition family.
The system is armed with 227mm rockets, offering a range of up to 45 kilometers. A single salvo covers an area of over 60,000 square meters, roughly equivalent to six football fields. Its hit accuracy is high, and its positioning system, integrated with the U.S. military communication network, provides precise targeting.
Due to its relatively lightweight, the M142 HIMARS can be air-dropped and rapidly deployed using a C-130 transport aircraft. With a three-person crew, it can complete combat preparations in just 15 minutes. In 2022, the United States supplied Ukraine with several HIMARS systems equipped with GMLRS rockets, effectively slowing down Russia’s offensive. Since then, the demand for the HIMARS system, known as the hippocampus, has increased significantly worldwide.
In summary, the M142 HIMARS, also known as the American hippocampus, is a lightweight multiple rocket launcher system mounted on medium tactical trucks. Its wheeled chassis provides quick deployment and enhanced mobility.
It fires a variety of rockets with impressive range and accuracy. The system’s air-droppable capability and rapid combat preparations make it highly versatile. Its effectiveness in Ukraine led to increased global demand for this advanced artillery system.