PHL03 300mm Multiple Launch Rocket System
The PHL03 (Type 03, also known as AR2 in its export name) is the 12-tube 300mm multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) developed by NORINCO. The PHL03 highly resembles the Russian 9K58 Smerch rocket system in appearance. China Academy of Launch Vehicle (CALT) introduced the A-100 10-tube 300mm MLRS in the late 1990s, which may also be based on the Smerch technology. The PHL03 is believed to have entered the PLA service in 2004/05 and is likely to be promoted to the export market.
The PHL03 launch vehicle is based on a 8X8 wheeled chassis, with twelve launch tubes mounted on it. The tubes are arranged as two blocks of four with a single row of four above. The launcher has a crew of four and is capable of single or salvo firing. A transloader based on the same wheeled chassis carries an additional 12 rockets. The transloader provides for mechanised loading of the launch vehicle, by means of a hydraulic crane mounted on the vehicle.
The PHL03 fires 300mm rocket powered by a solid propellant (possibly HTTB) rocket motor. Its maximum firing range was said to be 150km. No detailed information on the types of warheads is available but they are expected to include HE-FRAG (High Explosive Fragmentation) anti-armour/personnel submunitions similar to that of the Smerch.
Last update: 14 March 2008