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Tracked Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

The Israeli Army MAR-290 system mated the rocket rack of the Soviet Katyusha system with the chassis of an American or British combat tank.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 5/14/2019
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Year: 1968
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Israel
Production: 100
Capabilities: Fire Support/Assault/Breaching;
Crew: 4
Length: 24.61 ft (7.5 m)
Width: 11.09 ft (3.38 m)
Height: 11.15 ft (3.4 m)
Weight: 33 tons (29,500 kg); 65,036 lb
Power: VARIABLE: 1 x Engine developing between 400 and 650 horsepower.
Speed: 22 mph (35 kph)
Range: 280 miles (450 km)
Operators: Israel
Having captured large stocks of Soviet-made BM-24 "Katyusha" unguided rocket-launching systems from its neighboring enemies, the nation of Israel reconstituted these weapons for their own service. What resulted as a new series of tracked Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) which went to carry to the designation of "MAR-290". The conversion began in the late 1960s and eventually involved two combat tank chassis - the American M4 Sherman Medium Tank (of World War 2 vintage) and the British-made Centurion Main Battle Tank (MBT) - serving as carrier vehicles.

The modification saw arrangement of a four-tube launcher unit sat over the existing tank chassis - as such the vehicle retained its performance capabilities including favorable off-road mobility. The launcher was designed to face the rear of the vehicle while elevation was controlled through a hydraulic arm which angled the launcher to the required degree. The four launch tubes were 290mm in caliber and seated either High Explosive, FRAGmentation (HE-FRAG) or anti-personnel cluster munition rockets that were 5.45 meters in length and weighed some 600 kilograms apiece. Engagement ranges were out to 25,000 meters with a firing window of just 10 seconds needed. Reloading could be accomplished in 10 minutes. The finalized vehicle featured a typical crew complement of four and was locally defensed by a single 7.62mm medium machine gun as well as any personal weapons carried by the crew.

MAR-290 vehicles were first used in anger during the 1982 Lebanon War.


1 x 290mm Rocket Launcher Unit.

Variable - dependent upon rocket launcher installation and reloads carried by accompanying resupply vehicle (if any).

Variants / Models

• MAR-290 - Base Series Designation
• MAR-290 (Sherman) - Katyusha launcher on Sherman Medium Tank chassis.
• MAR-290 (Centurion) - Katyusha launcher on Centurion Main Battle Tank chassis.
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