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8x8 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle

China | 2009

"Since its recent introduction, the AR-1 MLRS series has already seen several progressive variants emerge."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/15/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The PHL03, based on the Russian BM-30 "Smerch" Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), was adopted ahead of the competing A-100 for People's LIberation Army (PLA) service. The vehicle was then further developed to become the "AR-1" 8x8 wheeled series and appeared during 2009, offering improved tactical capabilities and support of guided rocket munitions. The AR-1 has since been expanded to include several progressive versions with an export model - designated as A-100E (AR-1A) - delivered to Pakistan.

The AR-1 continues support of the 300mm variable-warhead battlefield rocket and, like other MLRSs, is intended for area saturation of enemy-held territory. An 8x8 heavy duty wheeled chassis forms the carrier vehicle portion of the complete MLRS system with the launcher unit set atop the rear section of the chassis. The crew numbers four with members housed in a forward-set cabin. The launcher unit is trainable to an extent which allows the vehicle to not have to be turned completely into the direction of fire. Hydraulic recoil legs at the rear sides of the truck are lowered for stabilization prior to firing - firing taking just seconds to empty the whole launcher unit. Ten launch tubes make up the basic 300mm rocket launcher component.

The AR-1A has since been introduced as something of a modular variant of the original AR-1 series in which the entire launcher unit can be replaced in-the-field by an accompanying support vehicle. In this way each launch tube does not have to be reloaded individually and therefore offers a much higher rate-of-fire for the crew. NORINCO then followed this mark with the AR-2 which retains the modularity of the AR-1A but supports increased engagement ranges out to 130 kilometers. The AR-3 form has also emerged and supports a 370mm battlefield rocket while retaining support firing the earlier 300mm rocket type. In the case of the 370mm launcher unit, the launch tubes number four.

A relatively new addition to the inventory of the PLA, the AR-1 series should maintain a healthy service life. Export sales may also increase its global popularity when competing with more expensive Russian offerings.

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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 NORINCO AR-1A 8x8 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle.
1 x Diesel-fueled engine driving conventional all-wheel 8x8 arrangement.
Installed Power
37 mph
60 kph
Road Speed
404 miles
650 km
The physical qualities of the NORINCO AR-1A 8x8 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle.
39.4 ft
12 meters
O/A Length
9.8 ft
3 meters
O/A Width
9.8 ft
3 meters
O/A Height
84,999 lb
38,555 kg | 42.5 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the NORINCO AR-1 8x8 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle.
10 x 300mm rocket launch tubes (AR-3 supports 370mm types).
10 x 300mm rockets plus reloads carried through accompanying ammunition carrier.
Nightvision - YES.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES.
Notable series variants as part of the NORINCO AR-1 family line.
AR-1 - Base Series Designation; further development of the earlier PHL03 system while also based on the Russian BM-30 Smerch platform.
AR-1A - Development of the AR-1 model; 10 x rocket launcher unit.
AR-100E - Export variant of the AR-1A
AR-2 - Development of the AR-1 / AR-1A with increased engagement range out to 130 km.
AR-3 - Development of AR-2 model with 370mm rockets.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the NORINCO AR-1. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 200 Units

Contractor(s): China NORth INdustries COmpany (NORINCO) - China
National flag of Armenia National flag of China National flag of Pakistan

[ Armenia; China; Pakistan ]
1 / 1
Image of the NORINCO AR-1
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Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The NORINCO AR-1 8x8 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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