Multiple rocket launcher
Type 03 (Chinese service)
AR2 (export designation)
A100 / PHL96 (prototype systems)
2004 - present
China - Norinco
- UNIT COST
Very long range
Large and heavy
Lack of armor protection
The PHL03 is a multiple rocket launcher of Chinese origin. It was developed to supplement and replace older long range artillery systems. The design is a further development of the A100 / PHL96 system developed in the mid 1990's, which in turn was heavily inspired by the Soviet BM-30 Smerch system.
The PHL03 is based on the large Wanshan 8x8 truck chassis. It features a 12 round launcher for 300mm artillery rockets that is similar to the BM-30 in design and caliber. The rockets are unguided solid propellant artillery rockets with wrap around folding fins. Additional rockets are carried on a transloader which is also fitted with a crane for reloading.
The PHL03 fires 300mm rockets of similar design as the Russian BM-30 Smerch system. All 12 rockets are ready to fire. The rockets are available with a variety of warheads, including HE-Frag, AP cluster and AT cluster. The maximum range is estimated at 80 to 100 km, although Chinese sources claim ranges up to 150 km.
The PHL03 is an unarmored system that is vulnerable to any kind of direct and indirect fire. Its long range allows it to engage enemy systems beyond their maximum range, operating in relative safety.
The Wanshan 8x8 truck chassis features very large tires and provides the PHL03 with a good mobility, both on and off road. A diesel engine provides propulsion and speeds up to 65 km/h can be achieved.
The PHL03 has been adopted by Chinese forces and is available for export sales. Expert orders are claimed to include Morocco and Sudan.