LARS-1 (Leichtes Artillerie Raketen System)
6x6 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System
The LARS-1 MLRS was a West German Army development utilizing twin 18-shot rocket launchers atop a Magirus-Deutz Jupiter 6x6 wheeled truck chassis.
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The West German Army developed the Light Artillery Rocket System (LARS) during the 1960s, eventually adopted it for operational service in 1969. The vehicles were self-propelled rocket projectors in the same vein as the classic Soviet rocket trucks seen throughout World War 2 (1939-1945). The LARS mated the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter line of 6x6 wheeled trucks with a positional two-launcher system over the rear flatbed section. Each launcher held eighteen rockets of 110mm caliber for a grand total of 36 ready-to-fire rockets. A pair of Contraves Fieldguard radars formed a portion of the Fire Control System (FCS). The resulting product then became the "LARS-1".
A resupply vehicle was part of the LARS-1 deployment and carried an additional 144 rocket reloads. Reloading was about a 15 minute process. When preparing to fire, the vehicle was stationary and braced by supporting legs lowered at the rear of the chassis. The launcher unit could then be trained (power-driven) on a target area, elevated for the necessary range, and its launch tubes cleared in seconds. Each rocket weighed 77lbs and could feature HE-FRAG (High-Explosive, FRAGmentation), SUB-MUN (SUBMUNitions), and smoke payloads. Engagement ranges peaked at 14 kilometers with a minimum listed safe range of 6 kilometers. Improved rocket types were then introduced that increased ranges out to 25 kilometers. The crew cab was completely armored against small arms fire.
From the LARS-1 endeavor emerged its successor, the LARS-2, which brought about greater rocket capabilities atop a MAN 6x6 truck chassis. LARS-2 systems were then, themselves, replaced by the tracked American M270 Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) adopted by the German Army.
In the German, Light Artillery Rocket System becomes "Leichtes Artillerie Raketen System".