A-100 MRL

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A-100
Type Multiple rocket launcher
Place of origin China
Service history
In service 2000-present
Production history
Designer China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
Designed 1997-2000
Specifications
Weight 45 t
Length 9 m (29 ft 6 in)
Width 2.8 m (9 ft)
Height 3.2 m (10 ft)
Crew 4

Caliber 300 mm (12 in)
Barrels 10
Maximum firing range 100 km (62 mi)

Main
armament
Rockets
Engine diesel
640 hp (480 kW)
Suspension 8×8 wheeled
Operational
range
650 km (400 mi)
Speed 60 km/h (37 mph)

The A-100 is a 300 mm, 10-tube multiple rocket launcher developed by Beijing-based China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT, also known as 1st Space Academy) for the Chinese PLA ground forces.

Overview[edit]

China reportedly received a small number of the Russian Smerch 9K58 300 mm, 12-tube multiple launch rocket system and its ammunition in 1997. The Smerch 9K58 system is capable of firing a ‘smart’ submunition that has a dual-colour infrared sensors for terminal guidance, which enables the rocket to achieve accuracies previously difficult to achieve with unguided rockets of that range. The submunition is fitted with kinetic energy fragment warheads which are said to be able to penetrate 70mm of armour at an angle of 30° to the normal.

China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC), a trading company that markets Chinese missile and defence technologies to foreign customers, revealed the A-100 multiple launch rocket system in 2000. The system was developed by CALT, which is famous for its ChangZheng (Long March) family of space launch vehicles and DongFeng family of ballistic missiles. The A-100 system is CALT’s first attempt to break into the tactical weapons market. The development of the A-100 possibly began in the late 1990s and the MRL system was observed in service with the PLA 1st Artillery Division in Guangzhou MR in 2002, possibly for trial and evaluations.

Although the system resembles the Russian Smerch 9K58 300 mm rocket system, it is not a copy of the Smerch as previously speculated. The A-100 rocket is fitted with a simple guidance system for greater accuracy.

Rocket specifications[edit]

  • Rocket calibre: 300mm
  • Rocket length: 7,300mm
  • Rocket weight: 840 kg
  • Warhead: 235 kg, ~500 submunitions
  • Firing range: 40~100 km

The A-100 fires 300 mm solid propellant rockets, with a firing range of 40~100 km. The A-100 rocket is 7.3m in length, weighs 840 kg, carries a 235 kg warhead, and is stabilised by spin, thrust, and stabilising fins. It is fitted with a warhead containing 500 HE-FRAG (High Explosive Fragmentation) anti-armour/personnel submunitions. The submunition can penetrate 50mm of armour, and has a blast radius of 7m. The submunitions have a spreading radius of 100 +/- 40 metres.

The rocket consists of the warhead and fuse, a thrust stabilising system, a rocket motor and the tail section. The rocket motor is a single chamber, solid rocket motor with an advanced hydroxy-terminated polybutadine (HTPB) composition rocket propellant. The stabilising fins are folded inside the launch tube and open once the rocket leaves the tube.

The rocket is equipped with an onboard computer to help correct the horizontal and vertical deviations. During the first three seconds of the rocket’s flight, the onboard computer detects the horizontal difference between the programmed trajectory and actual status of the rocket, and controls the rocket’s stabilising thrust system to correct the rocket’s flying direction. The onboard computer corrects the vertical deviation by adjusting the warhead detonation time so that the submunitions are spread with a high accuracy.

Launch vehicle[edit]

  • Launch vehicle road speed: 60 km/h
  • Launch vehicle travelling range: 650 km
  • Reloading time: 20 minutes

The launch vehicle is based on a TAS5380 8X8 wheeled truck chassis developed by Tai'an Special Vehicle Manufactory. The vehicle weights 21t and has a maximum load of 22t. The vehicle has a maximum road speed of 60 km/h and a maximum range of 650 km. The vehicles has a gradient of 57% and a fording depth of 1.1m. The vehicle is equipped with four hydraulically operated stabilisers which are lowered in preparation for the rocket launch. 10 launcher tubes mounted on the chassis are arranged as two blocks of four (top) and six (bottom) tubes.

Operators[edit]

Map of A-100 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

Failed trials[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "A-100 Multiple launch rocket system". military-today.com. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tanzania importing Chinese MLRS". Kanwa Daily News. Retrieved 21 September 2013.