Multiple rocket launcher
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A multiple rocket launcher (MRL) is a type of unguided rocket artillery system. Like other rocket artillery, multiple rocket launchers are less accurate and have a much lower (sustained) rate of fire than batteries of traditional artillery guns. However, they have the capability of simultaneously dropping many hundreds of kilograms of explosive, with devastating effect.
The very first model of multiple rocket launcher was created in Ming China which used black gunpowder to accelerate the rockets that were basically arrows with small fuel tanks. The first modern multiple rocket launcher was the German Nebelwerfer of the 1930s, a small towed artillery piece. Only later in World War II did the Allies deploy similar weapons in the form of the Land Mattress.
The first self-propelled multiple rocket launchers — and arguably the most famous — were the Soviet BM-13 Katyushas, first used during World War II and exported to Soviet allies afterwards. They were simple systems in which a rack of launch rails was mounted on the back of a truck. This set the template for modern multiple rocket launchers. The Americans mounted tubular launchers atop M4 Sherman tanks to create the T34 Calliope rocket launching tank, only used in small numbers, as their closest equivalent to the Katyusha.
Multiple rocket launchers equipped on trucks can serve as mobile anti-aircraft batteries. These launchers are now equipped with radar and guiding systems, allowing more accurate shots.
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