Having captured large stocks of Soviet-made BM-24 "Katyusha" unguided rocket-launching systems from its neighboring enemies, the nation of Israel reconstituted these weapons for their own service. What resulted as a new series of tracked Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) which went to carry to the designation of "MAR-290". The conversion began in the late 1960s and eventually involved two combat tank chassis - the American M4 Sherman Medium Tank (of World War 2 vintage) and the British-made Centurion Main Battle Tank (MBT) - serving as carrier vehicles.
The modification saw arrangement of a four-tube launcher unit sat over the existing tank chassis - as such the vehicle retained its performance capabilities including favorable off-road mobility. The launcher was designed to face the rear of the vehicle while elevation was controlled through a hydraulic arm which angled the launcher to the required degree. The four launch tubes were 290mm in caliber and seated either High Explosive, FRAGmentation (HE-FRAG) or anti-personnel cluster munition rockets that were 5.45 meters in length and weighed some 600 kilograms apiece. Engagement ranges were out to 25,000 meters with a firing window of just 10 seconds needed. Reloading could be accomplished in 10 minutes. The finalized vehicle featured a typical crew complement of four and was locally defensed by a single 7.62mm medium machine gun as well as any personal weapons carried by the crew.
MAR-290 vehicles were first used in anger during the 1982 Lebanon War.
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