Type 81 (rocket launcher)

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Type 81 rocket launcher[1]
Type 81 MLRS on Hongyan OQ261 chassis.jpg
Type 81 MLRS on Hongyan OQ261 chassis
TypeSelf-propelled rocket launcher
Rocket artillery
Place of originChina
Production history
Produced1989 – present
Mass18 to 30 tons
Length9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)
Width3.24 m (10 ft 8 in)
Height3.50 m (11 ft 6 in) with AAMG

Caliber122 mm (4.8 in) (missiles)

122 mm rockets
12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun
EngineWR4B-12V150LB 12-cyl diesel
520 hp (382 kW)
Suspensiontorsion bar
450 km (280 mi)
Speed55 km/h (35 mph)

The Type 81 is a self-propelled 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (SPMRL) produced by the People's Republic of China for the People's Liberation Army Ground Force.[2] It is a variant of the Soviet BM-21 Grad.[3] The Type 81 was the first in a family of Chinese self-propelled 122 mm rocket launchers.[2]

The spin-stabilized rocket fired by the Type 81 may be armed with a high explosive warhead or a steel fragmentation warhead.[2]


Type 81[edit]

The Type 81 mounts a 40-round launcher on an OQ261 Honyan 6X6 truck chassis.[2]

Type 83[edit]

The Type 83 mounts a 24-round launcher on a 6x6 truck chassis.[2]

Type 89[edit]

The Type 89 mounts a 40-round launcher on the armoured tracked chassis of the Type 83 self-propelled gun. The rockets may be fired in 20 seconds. The launcher is mounted at the rear with a reload pack in front.[2]

Type 90[edit]

The Type 90 mounts a 40-round launcher on a Tiema SC2030 6X6 truck. The truck also carries a reload pack of 40 additional rockets; the launcher to be reloaded within 3 minutes.[2]

Type 90A[edit]

The Type 90A is an upgrade of the Type 90. The 40-round launcher is mounted on a Tienna XC2200 6×6 truck, has improved fire control, and a battery may be remotely controlled by a command vehicle. It is manufactured by Norinco.[4]

Type 90B[edit]

Type 90B operated by the Peruvian Army

The Type 90B is an upgrade of the Type 90A. The 40-round launchers are mounted on a Beifang Benchi 2629 6×6 trucks. The system adds WZ551 reconnaissance vehicles, and the command vehicle has improved command and fire control systems.[5]

PR50 SPMRL[edit]

Latest version of the series, with fire power increased by 25% to 50 round from the original 40 rounds. Incorporate features of WS SPMRL series so that the operating cost and overall life cycle cost for both. Also incorporated is a feature originated in Type 90B, which is the adoption of rockets of different ranges, so PR50 has a wide range of 20 km to 40 km. The Chinese name for PR50 SPMRL is Sha Chen Bao (沙尘暴), meaning Sandstorm, and the system made its public debut in 2006 at the 6th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition.[6]


Development of the Type 81, featuring 40 tubes arranged into two pods. The range is 50 km.[7]


SR-5 MRL is a self-propelled MLS which first made its public debut in 2012 Eurosatory, similar to the HIMARS. SR-5 is a fully computerized and digitized system with modular design concept to enable both the 122 mm rocket series and 220 mm rocket series to be adopted on a single chassis, using the same fire control and support systems, hence greatly reduces the operational cost.[8]

The SR-5 has been exported to Algeria, Bahrain and Venezuela.[9][10]


The SR-7 is a scaled-down variant, with either one pod of twenty 122 mm rockets or six 220 mm rockets. The maximum range is 50 km for the 122 mm rocket and 70 km for the 220 mm rocket.[11]


  1. ^ "Type 81 / Type 89 / Type 90 122mm Rocket Launcher". Fas.org. 1999-11-16. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Type 81 / Type 89 / Type 90 122mm Rocket Launcher". globalsecurity.org. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  3. ^ "BM-21 122-mm Multiple Rocket Launcher". globalsecurity.org. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  4. ^ "CHINA DEVELOPS TYPE 90A 122 MM MULTIPLE SYSTEM, Archived". Jane's. 2009. Archived from the original on 15 Jan 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  5. ^ "NORINCO 122 mm (40-round) Type 90B multiple rocket system (China), Multiple rocket launchers". Jane's. 2009. Archived from the original on 13 Feb 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  6. ^ "PR50 SPMRL".
  7. ^ ARG. "SR-4 Multiple Launch Rocket System - Military-Today.com". www.military-today.com.
  8. ^ SR-5 Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  9. ^ "Algeria has acquired SR5 multiple rocket launchers". Defence Web. 2017-11-22. Archived from the original on 2017-11-25. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  10. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (16 January 2018). "Algeria confirms Chinese MRL acquisition". IHS Jane's 360. London. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-07-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]