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China's PHL03, advanced Multiple Launch Rocket System

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-09-07

The PHL03 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is the first remote multiple artillery rocket system equipped by the Chinese military.

  BEIJING, Sep. 7 (ChinaMil) -- The PHL03 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is the first remote multiple artillery rocket system equipped by the Chinese military.

  With long range, high precision and powerfulness, it has greatly improved the artillery troops’ remote fire support and precision strike capabilities.

  The PHL03, a 12-tube 300mm MLRS, is used for destroying remote group targets, effective strength in open areas and shelters, equipment of motorized infantry, tanks and artillery troops. It can also attack the tactical missiles, air defense systems and helicopters on the airfield as well as commanding posts, link hubs and military facilities.

  Research process

  Before the birth of Type 83 273 mm MLRS, artillery rockets made in China were only medium-range or short-range. The maximum range of Type 83 is 40 kilometers. A small number of this rocket system entered service for trial. But due to the lack of precision and firepower density, this type did not enter service in large scale.

  China’s demand for a new generation of long-range rockets was increasingly prominent in the late 1980s. The introduction of Russia's BM-30 Smerch rocket system became one of the possible solutions for China at that time.

  The BM-30 Smerch rocket system is Russia's largest caliber rocket and is mainly equipped in long-range rocket artillery brigade, the design of BM-30 Smerch rocket system was finalized in 1983 and it entered service in 1987.

  According to media reports, manufacturers from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus successively provided relevant technology and information including launching system, trajectory control system, rocket and multiple warheads of BM-30 Smerch to China in the early 1990s.

  As a result of research and development based on existing technologies, China developed the PHL03 MLRS.

  The PHL03 MLRS entered service with the Chinese military as well as the global arms market in 2005.


  Chassis: The PHL03 rocket car has an overall combat weight of 43 tons. The vehicle is 12 meters in length, 3 meters in width and 3 meters in height. It is based on a Wanshan WS2400 8x8 special wheeled chassis and has a 500 horsepower diesel engine. The maximum road speed of the vehicle is 65 km / h. One refueling trip not less than 850 kilometers and the minimum turning radius is 15 meters.

  Rocket: The PHL03 is equipped with a various types of shells. The maximum range of its basic rocket shell is 70 kilometers while the minimum range is 20 kilometers. The salvo time is 38 seconds and the refill time is 20 minutes.

  Meanwhile, improved rocket shells were also developed with the maximum range of 150 kilometers. Thus, its long-range strike capability has been further enhanced.

  Each vehicle is capable of launching 24 rocket shells continuously and a combat unit can continuously fire 96 to 144 shells, covering the range of about 2 square kilometers.

  Various types of the 300 mm caliber rocket shells fired by the PHL03 are equipped with simple automatic correction system which allows more dense impact points. The impact point intensity doubles and the accuracy triples. In this way, a high kill probability with fewer rocket shells is possible.

  Comparison with its peers

  From the table above, it can be concluded that in terms of overall design, or in particular, the range, intensity, power, survivability and maneuverability, the PHL03 MLRS has a series of major breakthroughs compared with traditional rockets. Some of its aspects meet or even exceed the world's advanced level.

  The service of the PHL03 Multiple Launch Rocket System has greatly enhanced the capability of remote fire support of the Chinese military. The operational performance of the system will continue to improve with the development of China's rocket shell technology. And it will become an indispensable remote firepower for the Chinese military.

Editor:Zhang Tao
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