Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines US Military Pay (2022) Global Military Ranks


Land Systems / Battlefield

NCSIST Thunderbolt 2000

Self-Propelled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle [ 2010 ]

The Thunderbolt 2000 adds long-range rocket firepower to the defending forces of Taiwan.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/30/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The island nation of Taiwan eventually changed its focus from reclaiming mainland China to defense of its own territory from a Chinese amphibious invasion. This decision went on to influence the direction (and budget) of the Army in the new millennium and has resulted in several notable indigenous projects including a 4th Generation fighter, various small arms and armored vehicles.

The Thunderbolt-2000 represents another product in this shift-in-thinking and represents a self-propelled, Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) vehicle for the Taiwanese Army. The design (by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology) was debuted in the 1997 Han Kuang Exercise and has since been ordered in number with service entry occurring in 2010.

Rocket artillery has played a major role in modern land warfare since the days of World War 2 (1939-1945) when the Soviets favored the weapon against dug-in German foes along the East Front. Today, the MLRS represents this mobile weapon type and all major military powers (and even lesser ones) employ such systems as economic area-suppression measures which also provide a level of psychological warfare upon the enemy.

The prototype Thunderbolt-2000 was built atop the American Oshkosh M977 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck series vehicle and, when this design was proven sound, the finalized product remerged through the German MAN HX81 8x8 wheeled heavy truck. The Army secured a batch contract order for fifty-seven vehicles which began delivery in the late 2000s.

The hull and chassis features a forward cab and rear-set flatbed to which the launcher component is seated. The launcher is given full 360-degree traversal with built-in elevation capability allowing the unit to aim in the direction of fire without the vehicle having to be turned. The 8x8 wheeled arrangement is divided into two sections of two axles each to displace weight and support legs are lowered prior to firing to help stabilize the vehicle. Ground clearance is excellent and, coupled to a full suspension system, allows for cross-country travel and keeping up with the main fighting force. The launcher unit is modular and can support variable warhead types depending on mission need. This includes the standard 60-round 117mm Mk 15 fit, the 27-round 180mm Mk 30 fit and the 12-round 227mm Mk 45 fit. Targetable ranges are 15km, 30km and 45km respectively. Reloading is by way of accompanying resupply vehicles.

Currently (2016), each Army company sees one battalion of these vehicles offering considerable firepower at range against approaching enemy forces. The quick set-up and firing functionality of the system ensures some level of self-survival as the crew can fire before relocating to a new position, reload and fire another salvo in short order. Rockets can be fired singly or as a whole salvo.


Service Year

Taiwan national flag graphic

In Active Service.

National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) - Taiwan
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Taiwan Taiwan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.

30.0 ft
9.15 m
8.4 ft
2.55 m
13.6 ft
4.15 m
59,525 lb
27,000 kg
29.8 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base NCSIST Thunderbolt 2000 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x MAN diesel-fueled engine driving conventional 8x8 wheeled arrangement.
49.7 mph
(80.0 kph)
403.9 mi
(650.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base NCSIST Thunderbolt 2000 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x Launcher unit (variable rocket counts and warhead types). 117mm Mk15, 180mm Mk30 and 227mm Mk45 rocket types supported.

Supported Types

Graphical image of tank battlefield rockets

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent upon launcher pod fitted.

Thunderbolt-2000 - Base Series Name

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2022 US Military Pay Army Ranks Navy Ranks Marine Ranks Air Force Ranks USCG Ranks Compare Ranks (NEW!) DoD Dictionary Military Ribbons Identification Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-