Beyond its large supply of combat tanks and support vehicles, the modern Iranian Army fields a healthy stable of both towed and self-propelled artillery weapons. For the latter, this includes two locally developed and produced Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MRLSs) in the form of the "Fajr-3" and
"Fajr-5" ("Fajr" translating to "Dawn"). Both are influenced by foreign supplies - North Korea and China, respectively - and differ in their caliber of battlefield rocket, 240mm versus 333mmm, respectively.
The Fajr-3 is detailed elsewhere on this site. The Fajr-5 is the focus of this particular article.
The Fajr-5 began development after the newer WS-1 series of battlefield rockets began importation to Iran from ally China during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The rockets were eventually produced by local Iranian industry which eased logistics and procurement. The vehicle portion of the weapon system became a Mercedes-Benz industrial truck with 6x6 wheeled arrangement. Over the rear of the frame is seated the four-shot rocket-launching component. At the bow is the driving cab which houses three crew. Aft of this is an add-on crew compartment providing full enclosure for the operators. The vehicle weighs 1,500 kilograms.
The chassis provides excellent ground clearance and strong on-round / off-road capability. Four support arms are lowered prior to firing to better stabilize the vehicle. The system can then be relocated in short order to fire again - making for one difficult target to pinpoint and neutralize.
The rocket launcher component is trainable into the direction of fire. It has an elevation span of 0 to 57-degrees and is trainable to 45 degrees to either side of centerline. Rate-of-fire is estimated at between four and eight seconds for all four rockets to clear the launcher.
The 6.5 meter-long rockets weigh 915 kilograms each and can range out to 75 kilometers. A guided version of the same rocket was unveiled during early-2017 - giving more tactical value to the Fajr-5 system as a whole. Payloads can vary from general High-Explosive, FRAGmentation (HI-FRAG) to anti-infantry, biological, chemical and nuclear pay loads.
The weapon system has been produced by the concerns of Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Sanam Industrial Group (SIG) and Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and featured beyond Iranian borders by elements of Hamas, Hezbollah, Libya (former operator), Palestine and Syria.
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