Artillery / Multiple rocket launchers / PHL03

PHL03

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Multiple rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    Type 03 (Chinese service)
    AR2 (export designation)
    A100 / PHL96 (prototype systems)

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1990's

  • DESIGNER
    CALT

  • PRODUCTION
    2004 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    China - Norinco

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very long range
    Enormous firepower
    Good mobility
    Large and heavy
    Lack of armor protection
    Unguided ammunition

Introduction

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.

Layout

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.

Firepower

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.

Protection

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.

Mobility

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.

Users

The PHL03 has been adopted by Chinese forces and is available for export sales. Expert orders are claimed to include Morocco and Sudan.

Variants

PHL03

The PHL03 is produced only in a single version. It looks very similar to the Russian BM-30 Smerch. It can be distinguised by the differently shaped crew cabin and the boxes attached at the front of each launch tube. A transloader on the same Wanshan chassis accompanies the launch vehicle.

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