China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) (Stand 10-E05) has brought its latest AR3 multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) to IDEX this year. The system is integrated onto an 8x8 chassis, which not only provides a high level of cross-country mobility, but also strategic mobility. This allows it to be rapidly deployed to wherever it is required. According to NORINCO, the complete AR3 launcher weighs 45 tonnes and has a cruising range of 650km on roads. It can be fitted with two pods each of four 370mm rockets, or two pods each of five 300mm rockets. These can be a mix of guided and unguided rockets. The system being shown at IDEX 2015 is the 370mm version.
There are at least three types of 300mm unguided rockets: BRC3 with a maximum range of 70km and fitted with a cargo warhead; BRC4 with a maximum range of 130km and a cargo warhead; and BRE2 with a maximum range of 130km and fitted with a high-explosive warhead.
The BRE3 (or FD140A) is a 300mm guided rocket with a maximum range of 130km.
There are two 370mm guided rocket options, the BRE6 (FD220) with a maximum range of 220km and the BRE8 (FD280), offering a maximum range of 280km. A 30m circular error of probability is claimed for these weapons. The FD in the designation means ‘Fire Dragon’, with the figure denoting the maximum range. This family of rockets allows the AR3 to engage targets at a range of 20-280km.
For increased accuracy, the AR3 is fitted with computerised fire control system as well as a land navigation system. This also allows the weapon to come into and out of action much more quickly, and therefore it has greater survivability against potential counter-battery fire.
The AR3 can be deployed as a standalone system, deployed in a typical battery of six systems, or integrated with other artillery systems.