Africa Aerospace & Defense 2014

Chinese launcher offers flexible firepower [AAD142]

18 September 2014

China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) (Chinese Pavilion, Hangar 2) is marketing a new version of its SR5 universal artillery rocket launcher (UARL), which can fire rockets with a guidance capability to provide a more precise attack capability. According to the company, development of this system is complete and production can commence when orders are placed.

The SR5 UARL is based on a Chinese 6x6 four-door forward control chassis on the rear of which is mounted a powered launcher with the rockets being launched by remote control from within the cab. To provide a more stable firing platform, stabilisers are lowered to the ground at the rear of the platform. The powered launcher can accept two pods of surface-to-surface rockets, which are available in two configurations. One pod has six 220mm rockets in the ready-to-launch position, while the other pod has 20 of the older 122mm rockets in the ready-to-launch position. Norinco is marketing a complete family of 122mm unguided rockets, which have a range of 30-50km depending on the version, with the longer range being achieved by increasing the propellant.

The latest development is a 122mm rocket with global position system/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS) guidance system, which is claimed to provide a circular error of probability of 25m at a range of 40km.

These 122mm GPS/INS BRE7 guided rockets are more expensive, but because they are much more accurate, fewer rockets are required to neutralise the target and therefore there is a significant reduction in logistic resupply requirements. The 220mm GR1 rockets have a maximum range of 70km and can also be fitted with a GPS/INS laser terminal guidance system for increased accuracy.

According to Norinco, it is possible to have the SR5 UARL launcher with one pod of each rocket for greater operational range capability. Once a fire mission has been carried out, the SR5 UARL would normally redeploy to a new position to avoid any potential counter-battery fire. New rocket pods can be rapidly loaded in about five minutes using the onboard mechanical handling system, said the company.

(340 words)