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Multiple launch rocket system


It seems that Chinese AR3 is currently the most powerful MLRS in the world

Entered service ?
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 44 t
Length ~ 12 m
Width ~ 3 m
Height ~ 3 m
Caliber 370-mm / 300-mm
Number of tubes 8 / 10
Rocket weight ? / 840 kg
Warhead weight ? / 200 kg
Firing range 100 - 220 km / 20 - 130 km
Full salvo duration ~ 60 s
Reloading time ~ 20 minutes
Engine diesel
Engine power ~ 500 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 650 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 2 m
Fording ~ 1 m


   The AR3 is a Chinese artillery rocket system, developed specially for export. It was first revealed in 2011. It seems that the AR3 is currently the most powerful MLRS in the world.

   The main mission for this artillery rocket system is to engage remote strategic targets, such as airfields, command centers, support facilities, air defense batteries, large concentrations of troops and so on. The AR3 is capable of launching conventional rockets, as well as guided missiles.

   It is a multi-caliber rocket system. It is fitted with two pods with four launcher tubes for 370-mm rockets each, or five launcher tubes for 300-mm rockets. It seems that 300-mm rocket pods are interchangeable with the AR1A MLRS. Pods are factory-fitted and sealed. These are used to store, transport and launch rockets. A universal MLRS concept offers advantage of faster reloading, simpler logistics and flexibility. Also pods are easier to maintain.

   The 370-mm pods are fitted only with guided missiles. These missiles have a maximum range of 220 km. Minimum range of fire is 100 km. Rockets have a CEP of no more than 50 meters. These guided rockets have capabilities similar that of short-range ballistic missiles.

   Various 300-mm rockets with different warheads are available for this system. These include HE-FRAG, incendiary, fuel-air explosive, cluster with anti-personnel or anti-tank mines. Cluster rounds may also carry self-targeting anti-tank munitions. The 300-mm rockets have a maximum range of 70 - 130 km, depending on the type. Manufacturers claim, that 300-mm rockets are not compatible with the Russian Smerch rockets, despite being directly copied from. They also insist that rockets use different propellant motors and components.

   This artillery rocket system is operated by a crew of three. Crew prepare the launcher vehicle for firing without leaving the cabin. Preparation for launch takes about 5 minutes. Rockets can be also launched remotely from the vehicle. Once the rockets are fired vehicle can leave firing position within 1 minute. Brief redeployment allows to evade counter-battery fire.

   The AR3 is based on Wanshan WS2400 8x8 special wheeled chassis. The same wheeled chassis is used for most recent Chinese large-caliber multiple launch rocket systems. Vehicle has good cross-country mobility and can travel over all kinds of rough terrain and unimproved surfaces. It can operate in various climatic conditions, ranging from -20C to +55C.

   Launcher vehicles can operate in battery, battalion, or autonomously. A battery of AR3 includes launcher vehicles, reloading vehicles, command post vehicle, meteorological survey vehicle and other associated support vehicles.

   Each launcher vehicle is supported by a dedicated reloading vehicle, which has a crane and carries pods with reload rockets. It takes about 20 minutes to reload both pods. Reloading usually takes place remotely from firing position in order to avoid counter-battery fire.










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