Artillery: December 9, 2004

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China is introducing a new MLS (multiple launch rocket system) system that delivers anti-tank weapons similar to the American SADARM (Search and Destroy Munition.) The A-100 MLS is actually a Russian system the Chinese are building under license. The 300mm missiles weigh 1,600 pounds each. They can use several types of warheads. Either a 400 pound high explosive one, or a cluster bomb one (with 72 bomblets) or one that carries five Russian designed MOTIV-3M weapons. This, like the SADARM, is dispersed when the rocket is still in the air, and uses several sensors to find an armored vehicle below. The MOTIV-3M then fires a self forging explosive system that creates a stream of fast moving, molten metal that can penetrate the thin top armor of a tank. 

Each wheeled A-100 launcher carries ten missiles, which have a range of over 70 kilometers. Each battery of six launchers has a fire control vehicle which uses GPS and a computer to quickly calculate firing angle and direction for the launchers. This system allows the A-100 battery to fire one or more rockets within minutes of receiving GPS coordinates of the target. The first A-100 battalions have been assigned to the First Digital Artillery Division in southern China. The A-100 rockets are slightly heavier than the 227mm American MLRS rockets (which can carry six SADARM weapons each, but is being fitted with a more powerful weapon; BAT).

 


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