MANUFACTURER(S): Israel Military Industries (IMI) - Israel
OPERATORS: Argentina; Azerbaijan; Chile; Georgia; Israel; Kazakhstan; Romania; Venezuela
Detailing the development and operational history of the LAR-160 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle.
Entry last updated on 7/10/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The rocket-projecting vehicle has been a mainstay of fighting land forces for decades. Its value was keenly realized by the Soviets in World War 2 (1939-1945) during their march on Berlin and many national armies today retain stocks of such vehicle types in modernized forms. The systems are capable of delivering various warheads (including chemical and submunitions) by way of rockets from positions behind the front lines - resulting in a cost-effective, yet highly useful, battlefield measure.
In the late 1970s, Israel Military Industries (IMI) began work on a new rocket-launching pack that became known as the "LAR-160". The pack seated thirteen 3.4-meter-long rockets of 160mm caliber in a hardened case. The case could then be paired with another (for a total of 26 rockets) and coupled to a traversing mechanism offering tactical flexibility and vehicular mobility. The launchers featured a quick set-up functionality that allowed them to be arranged ready-to0fire in short order, the tubes cleared of rockets within sixty seconds. Reloading could be done in five minutes. Range of the rockets is out to 45 kilometers.
The original rocket was the "Mark I" and this weapon weighed 100 kilograms while sporting a 40 kilogram HE-COFRAM warhead (detonated either by impact or proximity fuze). Following this mark arrived the "Mark II" which introduced a 46 kilogram warhead tied to a 110 kilogram overall weight. The warhead could be variable, fitting the original HE-COFRAM or submunitions - the latter dispensing above the target area for an area saturation effect - very useful against concentrations of enemy infantry. The Mark IV is a further, modern rocket development for the LAR-160 system.
Beyond its acceptance into the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), the LAR-160 was eventually purchased by the forces of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Chile. Argentina has used the LAR-160 system through its TAM "VCLC" vehicle and Romania has developed a local variant (with Israeli assistance) as the "LAROM". Venezuelan forms are seen utilizing the French AMX-13 tank chassis.
LAR-160 systems are known to have seen combat actions (with Georgian forces) in the 2008 South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia.