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4x4 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

China | 2022

"The PHL-21 is yet another wheeled MLRS solution available to the modern fighting ground forces of China."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/21/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The modern Chinese Army - the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) fields a broad collection of Multiple-Launch, Rocket Systems (MLRS) in the active inventory ranging in calibers from 107mm and 122mm to 300mm and the massive 370mm battlefield rockets. The 122mm type is by far the most concentrated design type available and, among their number, is the PHL-21 122mm-armed MLRS.

The PHL-21 is part of the PHL-11 truck-based MLRS family which includes the tracked PHZ-11 form (detailed elsewhere on MilitaryFactory.com), the SR-4 on its 6x6 wheeled truck chassis, and the SR-7 (122mm or 220mm rocket pod capable).

The PHL-21 utilizes a 4x4 wheeled truck chassis which concentrates the fighting cabin at the front over the bow and engine compartment. This provides a shorter overall length for the system. The launcher component consists of a 20-shot pod seated on a traversable mounting over the rear of the chassis and given a limited firing arc (the rocket pod appears to be a dimensionally smaller version of the one fielded with the SR-7 carrier). The complete system, therefore, showcases a ranged attack with complete self-mobility, able to traverse cross-country easily enough while maximizing range on paved roads.

The crew sits under some protection as the cab is only lightly armored against small arms fire and artillery spray to keep the weight of the vehicle in check. When readied for fire, the crew resides in the cab while support struts are lowered to help retard the impact of the launching action against the rear of the hull. Resupply is accomplished through an accompanying resupply vehicle. The vehicle appears to be related to the FAW MV3 tactical truck which also forms the foundation of the PCL-161 self-propelled howitzer solution.

The rockets have a range out to 40 kilometers by default though this can be extended a further 10km with Extended-Range (ER) projectiles. All 20 rockets can clear the launcher in as little as 30 seconds.

At least 10 active hulls in the PLAGF inventory were recorded in a 2022 defense review.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the PHL-21 4x4 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
1 x Turbocharged diesel-fueled engine developing 350 horsepower driving conventional 4x4 wheeled arrangement.
Installed Power
59 mph
95 kph
Road Speed
342 miles
550 km
The physical qualities of the PHL-21 4x4 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
44,092 lb
20,000 kg | 22.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the NORINCO PHL-21 4x4 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
1 x 20-shot 122mm rocket pod seated over the rear of the hull.
20 x 122mm rockets (variable warhead types).
Nightvision - YES, OPTIONAL.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES, OPTIONAL.
Notable series variants as part of the NORINCO PHL-21 family line.
PHL-21 - Base Series Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the NORINCO PHL-21. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 25 Units

Contractor(s): China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) - China
National flag of China

[ China ]
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Image of the NORINCO PHL-21
Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Going Further...
The NORINCO PHL-21 4x4 Wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) appears in the following collections:
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