The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Type 83 273mm rocket
WM-80 / WM-120 273mm rocket

The Chinese 273mm multiple rocket system utilizes a modular design similar to the US MLRS. The Type 83 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL), mounted on a tracked vehicle chasis, has four tubes arranged in a single line. The modernised and upgraded WM-80 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher, mounted on the rear of a TA-550 8X8 cross-country truck chassis, has eight tubes arranged in two lines of four tubes. The WM-80 features a reload time of 5 to 8 minutes, and a digital ballistic computer which provides positioning and fire direction for an accuracy of less than 2% of the range to the target. The Type 83 273mm rocket is a fin stabilized high explosive rocket. The rocket is olive drab with black markings, and weighs 484 kilograms (1,067 pounds).

The WM-80-type 273 mm multi-barrel rocket launchers chassis is the TAS5380 series. TAS5380 is the early 90s from Shandong Tai'an Special Vehicle manufacturer in China to develop and put into operation a new generation of 8 8 heavy-duty off-road vehicles. It uses the power of the air-cooled diesel engine. Off-road climbing ability (climb up to 35% of degree); high-speed (road speed of 70 km / h). To meet the forces of big tonnage, high-speed transport vehicles need to become a new type of WM-80 273 mm rockets and surface-to-long-range tactical missile launch vehicles carrying chassis, which ground missile launchers had participated in the Nanjing Military Region in 1996 joint military exercises.

The Type 83 273 mm rockets began testing in 1983 with four associated prototypes and put into small batche production for military trial, which were discontinued after 1988. The system used medium-sized crawler tractor Type 60-1 chassis; launchers for the box-type truss structure, fitted under the bed in the directional control from the guide rails, which is made after a group of welded steel stamping, directional control with a thin steel plate, the bed is also fitted in the directional control pressure and the block device, the transmitter can be pneumatically operated automatic relief; dual reciprocating screw machine supporting the level of the first half of the pitch part with a spring-type balancing machine together as one, changing the angle can be electrically operated, use the manual tuning.

The China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) 273 mm (8-round) WM-80 multiple rocket system has been designed for use in brigade (regiment), battalion and battery units. According to the United Nations Report on Conventional Arms for 2001, between 1992 and 2010 there was only one export sale of the WM-80. This was to Armenia, which took delivery of four units in 1999.

According to NORINCO, a complete WM-80 multiple rocket system would typically consist of four subsystems, the Firepower system, Fire Command-and-Control System, Reconnaissance System and Technology Service System.These are further broken down. The Firepower System covers the rocket launcher, ammunition carrier and the actual rockets. The Fire Command-and-Control System includes the battalion command vehicle, battery command vehicle and meteorological radar. The Reconnaissance System includes reconnaissance vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle. The Technology Service System includes the mechanical maintenance vehicle and the electronics maintenance vehicle.Each brigade would typically have four battalions, each with three batteries.

A total of six launcher vehicles and six resupply vehicles would be attached to each battery. The standard combat unit is considered to be the battalion with the customer choosing his own Table Of Equipment (TOE) if he so wishes.Fire-control and command duties throughout the brigade are accomplished by use of an automatic distribution network. This consists of main computers located at the brigade, battalion and battery HQ command levels with various terminals and radio/wire communications links to automatically distribute the data as directed.

The WM-80 launcher is mounted on the rear of a TA-580 (8 8) cross-country truck chassis. An eight-round launcher assembly (comprising two four-round rail-type container-launcher box banks) is fitted on a hydraulically raised rear deck turntable platform. Attached to the assembly is the aiming system, which comprises the elevating mechanism, traversing mechanism and sight.The actual 273 mm rocket launch tubes are 4.885 m long.Inside the five-person fully-enclosed forward control vehicle cab is the launcher firing display (to display any command vehicle data inputs and the launch vehicle status), the operating and aiming system to lay the launcher assembly and the system operating console and control panel.

Optional wire-link or radio communications systems are also available to receive fire-control and targeting data and allow automatic weapon aiming and firing.The operator can also fire the launcher himself or, if required, perform remote off-vehicle firing. Single round and salvo launches can be performed. For firing, four hydraulic jacks (two at the rear and one on either side section) are lowered to stabilise the vehicle. To protect the front windscreen when the rockets are fired, special shutters are activated from inside of the vehicle. The resupply vehicle is based on the TA-580 8 8 cross-country truck chassis and carries two four-round launcher-container boxes. These are transferred to the launch vehicle by means of a 10,000 kg capacity hydraulic crane fitted just behind the truck cab and carried over the centre line of the truck bed.


Norinco has established a modernized version of the missile systems of salvo fire WM-80. The updated system was designated WM-120. Compared with the basic version, the new MLRS range was increased by 40 kilometers to 120 kilometers. The WM-120 solid rocket uses the 273 mm. MLRS launcher, designed for eight missiles mounted on the chassis of the TA-580 tractor with the wheel formula 88. The minimum distance of fire WM-120 is 34 kilometers. On the missile guidance system upgraded to a missile system not yet known.

According to Norinco, for the preparation of the system and missile launching to five minutes, and on reloading with the use of transport-charging machines eight minutes. Combat weight of the complex is 36.5 tons. The WM-120 is capable of speeds up to 70 kilometers per hour, and the supply of its range is about 400 kilometers.

Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 28-10-2013 18:01:55 ZULU