The Multiple Launch Rocket Projector (MLRS) has been a staple of land armies since the days of World War 2 (1939-1945) when such projecting firepower showed its value in the many battles of Europe. The Soviets were key proponents of the MLRS cause and this was popularized through its rudimentary, yet effective, line of "Katyusha" vehicles which permeated the East Front. In the Cold War years, the Katyusha system was appropriately evolved and this created a myriad of related types firing a plethora of munition options. As a long-time Soviet customer, the Chinese adopted many of these same forms and have since gone on to design and development more in-house solutions - as characterized by the SR-5. The vehicle entered service during 2013.
The SR-5 utilizes a 6x6-wheeled truck chassis for forward-mounted cab and rear-set launcher unit. The launcher unit is set upon a traversable platform which supplies an inherent elevation reach for engagement of target area from any angle despite the orientation of the truck itself. The launcher can hold two types of launcher pods in 122mm and 220mm form and, within these calibers, the rockets can be of High-Explosive (HE), smoke, illumination, incendiary, chemical, biological, and nuclear payload types. The 122mm pod holds up to 20 rockets while the 220mm pod version carries 6 rockets.
The design of the SR-5 is intended to provide the Chinese Army with a self-sustained battlefield support vehicle. The truck carries its own powered crane system to manage reloading of the rocket pods. It supports its own crew of five that includes the driver. Upon reaching a designated target area, the system lowers supporting recoil struts, manages the onboard fire control computer, and clears its rocket payload within, minutes. It can then relocate to another area, meet a resupply vehicle, and conduct the process all over again.
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