Artillery / Multiple rocket launchers / LARS

LARS

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Multiple rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    Germany

  • NICKNAMES
    LARS / Leichtes Artillerieraketensystem, light artillery rocket system (full name)

  • DESIGNED
    1960's

  • DESIGNER
    Weggman & Co.

  • PRODUCTION
    1969 - 1971 (about 200 LARS 1)
    1980 - mid 1980's (LARS 2 conversions)
    1981 - 1983 (50 FERA)

  • PRODUCERS
    Germany - Wegmann

  • QUANTITY
    About 200 LARS 1 produced
    50 FERA produced

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Several types of ammunition available
    Good accuracy with fire control radar
    Low cost and reliable system
    Limited range
    Manual reload takes long

Introduction

The LARS is a late Cold War era multiple rocket launcher of German origin. It was developed in the 1960's to complement tube artillery. Conceptually the LARS is similar to the widely used Soviet BM-21 Grad. No LARS sytems remain in use today.

Layout

The LARS essentially is a truck based trainable launcher for unguided artillery rockets. The 110mm diameter artillery rockets are spin stabilized and use solid rocket fuel. Reloading is done manually by the three man crew. A firing unit consists of four launchers plus ammunition trucks. Originally the system was based on the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter 7t 6x6 truck, but was rebuilt in the 1980's on the more mobile MAN Kat 1 6x6 truck.

Firepower

The LARS has 36 launch tubes for 110mm artillery rockets. All tubes can be fired in 18 seconds. The minimum range is 6.5 km and the maximum range is 14.7 km. Three types of ammunition are available: fragmentation, anti-tank mines and smoke. For self-defense a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun is fitted on a ring mount on the cabin roof.

Mobility

The original LARS uses the Magirus-Deutz chassis has a maximum road speed of 73 km/h. The LARS 2 with MAN chassis has a maximum road speed of 90 km/h and an improved cross country performance.

Protection

The armored cabin of the LARS 1 provides limited protection against small arms fire and shrapnell. The LARS 2 is a softskin vehicle. No NBC systems are fitted. The somewhat limited range of the LARS makes it vulnerable to counter battery fire.

Users

The LARS was acquired only by Germany and was used by the German army. In the 1980's the LARS was improved as the LARS 2 by converting existing vehicles to a MAN 7t 6x6 truck chassis and by adding an artillery radar to each four vehicle unit. Since the mid 1990's the LARS was supplemented in German service by the American M270 MLRS system, known in Germany as MARS. Last units were replaced in the year 2000, ending the service life of the LARS.

Variants

LARS 1

LARS 1: The LARS 1 is the original production model of the LARS. It is based on the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter 178D15A 7 ton 6x6 truck chassis. A firing unit exists of four LARS 1 plus several transport trucks carrying additional ammunition. The LARS 1 is easily identified by its two banks of 18 launch tubes in conjunction with the bonnet truck chassis.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Length7.66 m (travel configuration)
Width?
Height2.82 m (travel configuration)
Ground clearance?
Weight15 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6
Turn radius?
Engine?
Power ratio?
Transmission?
Speed73 km/h on road
Fuel?
Range500 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorSteel armor on crew cabin
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament110mm artillery rocket (36x)
7.62mm MG3 roof machine gun
Weapon1110mm LARS rocket launcher
36 launch tubes, no additional ammunition
powered elevation and traverse
non-stabilized
Weapon27.62mm MG3 machine gun on vehicle roof
100 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

LARS 2

LARS 2: The LARS 2 is a product-improved version of the LARS 1. No new LARS 2 were produced, all have been converted from LARS 1. The LARS 2 replaces the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter chassis with a newer MAN Kat 4520 7 ton 6x6 truck chassis. Additionally a fire-control radar unit, known as FERA, was added to each four vehicle firing unit.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Length8.28 m (travel configuration)
Width2.50 m
Height2.99 m (travel configuration)
Ground clearance?
Weight17.5 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6
Turn radius19.5 m
Engine?
Power ratio?
Transmission?
Speed90 km/h on road, 20 km/h offroad
Fuel?
Range550 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorNo
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament110mm artillery rocket (36x)
7.62mm MG3 roof machine gun
Weapon1110mm LARS rocket launcher
36 launch tubes, no additional ammunition
powered elevation and traverse
non-stabilized
Weapon27.62mm MG3 machine gun on vehicle roof
100 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

FERA

FERA: FERA is a fire-control system that was developed for use in conjunction with the LARS 2 system. It consist of a radar derived from the Oerlikon-Contraves Fieldguard system and a MAN 5t 4x4 truck chassis.

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