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Export: AR3



Chinese 370mm multiple rocket launcher shown during 2019 parade.
Source: Chinese internet - © Copyright lies with original owner

Multiple rocket launcher
Entered service
In service
Late 1990's - Early 2010's
2011 (prototypes shown)
Mid 2010's - present
AR3 (export model)
PHL16 (Chinese military service)
Notable users



The PHL16 is a modern multiple rocket launch system of Chinese origin. The PHL16 is the domestic service model of a series of long range rocket artillery marketed for export as the AR3. While the AR3 uses both 300mm and 370mm rockets with various ranges, it seems that only the long range 370mm rocket is used with the PHL16. During the 2019 parade the PHL16 was also shown using a more modern looking 8x8 truck chassis.


The PHL16 is based on a large 8x8 chassis. This seems like an updated model of the WS-2400, which in turn is derived from the Soviet MAZ-543M series of heavy tactical trucks. The large cab houses the crew and systems to control the launch. Most likely a fire direction center provides a firing solution via datalink. The launcher is located on a turntable at the rear of the vehicle. There are no fixed launch tubes. Two packs of rockets can be loaded onto the launcher. In the AR3 these may be of different size and caliber. The rockets are launched from the packs. In the firing position large jacks are lowered to ensure stability of the launch platform. Time between coming to a halt and firing is 5 minutes. Reloading is carried out by a transloader fitted with a large crane and takes about 20 minutes.


The PHL16 and AR3 launch long range artillery rockets that use a solid propelland and follow a ballistic arc. The AR3 export model comes with packs of four 370mm rockets. These have a range of either 220 km or 280 km. The longer range models have a smaller warhead to reduce overall weight and increase fuel. Sattelite guidance allows for a CEP of under 30 m at maximum range. The 300mm rockets are fitted into packs of five rockets, and are identical to the packs used with the AR1A. The 300mm rockets themselves are similar to those used in the PHL03 / AR1.


The PHL16 is a highly mobile system. The large 8x8 all terrain truck chassis provides good mobility on road and in the field. The diesel engine provides a maximum road speed of 60 km/h. Operational range on roads is 650 km.


The PHL16 is in service with the Chinese army since around 2016. In the 2019 parada 16 launch vehicles were shown. The 280 km rockets are most likely in use for their ability to strike Taiwan from the Chinese mainland. While the PHL16 is an expensive system, it has the ability to strike targets that would otherwise require more expensive tactical missiles or air strikes.


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The PHL03 is the main long range multiple rocket launch system in service. The PHL16 supplements this system with its ability to strike targets at much longer ranges.