Artillery / Multiple rocket launchers / Type 81

Type 81

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Multiple rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    PHZ81 (current designation)

  • DESIGNED
    1979 - 1981

  • DESIGNER
    Norinco (state factories)

  • PRODUCTION
    1982 - 1990's?

  • PRODUCERS
    China - Norinco

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good firepower
    Limited production costs
    Easy to use
    Average accuracy
    Limited range

Introduction

The Type 81 is a late Cold War era multiple rocket launcher of Chinese origin. The design was derived from a captured Soviet made BM-21 Grad in the late 1980's. As such the Type 81 has the same performance as the BM-21 Grad. The Type 81 has been renamed as the PHZ81 in Chinese service.

Layout

The Type 81 features a 40 round 122mm rocket launcher that is directly copied from the BM-21 Grad design. The launcher is placed on the rear of the indigenous SX2150 heavy duty 6x6 truck. Of the 7 crewmembers four are seated in the cab and the other three on the resupply vehicle or on a folding bench between the cab and the launcher. In the firing position the windows are covered by metal blast shields.

Firepower

The Type 81 fires 122mm spin stabilized rockets of the same pattern as used in the Soviet BM-21 Grad and a wide variety of warheads is available. The launcher holds 40 rockets that can be ripple fired in 20 seconds. Additional rockets are carried on resupply vehicles and it takes 7 men 8 to 10 minutes to reload. The standard rockets have a range of 20 km and models with a range of 30 and 40 km have been developed, although it is unknown if the Type 81 can use them or if they are restricted to newer designs.

Protection

The Type 81 is based on the unarmored SX2150 chassis and during travel, firing and reloading the crew is not protected at all. There are no NBC system or smoke grenade launchers.

Mobility

The SX2150 6x6 truck provides good mobility both on and off road, albeit at a mediocre speed. A Chongfa 200 hp diesel engine provides propulsion. It is unknown if the later SX-2150K with more powerful engine was ever used to serve as the basis for the Type 81.

Users

The main user of the Type 81 has always been the Chinese military. It is used at the corps and regiment level and replaced older 130mm systems. It Chinese service it is supplemented by the newer Type 90 system. Over time the Type 81 has been exported to various nations with ties to China in Asia and Africa.

Variants

Type 81

The Type 81 multiple rocket launcher is a Chinese adaptation of the Soviet BM-21 Grad. It utelizes the same 40 round 122mm rocket launcher and is easily identified by its SX2150 6x6 truck chassis with its forward control cabin. Although it should not be confused by the Romanian APR-40 which looks similar but uses the DAC-665T forward control truck. There are no variants of the Type 81.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew7 (4 in cab, 3 on rear bench)
Length7.12 m
Width2.5 m
Height3.08 m
Ground clearance0.36 m
Weight15.2 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6, 3.13 + 1.35 m wheelbase, 2.08 m track, 13.00 x20 tires
Turn radius9 m
EngineChongfa M6150 diesel, 200 hp
Power ratio13.2 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed70 km/h on road, 20 km/h cross country
Fuel280 L
Range600 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient58% gradient
Fording1.2 m
ArmorNo
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament122mm Grad missile launcher (40x)
Weapon1122mm Grad 40-round missile launcher
40 rounds, all ready to fire
0 to +55° elevation
102° left and 70° right traverse
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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