Manufacturer: China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC)  
Product type: Weapons & Weapon Systems  
Name: Multiple rocket launcher  

Early in 2000 it was revealed that China had developed a new 300 mm (10-round) Multiple Rocket System (MRS) to meet the operational requirements of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) called the A100.

As early as 1995, sources from Moscow stated that China was seeking a technology transfer of the latest Splav Russian 300 mm BM 9A52 (12-round) Smerch MRS which has the longest range of all of the Russian unguided surface-to-surface rocket systems.

The 300 mm BM 9A52 (12-round) Smerch MRS was developed by the Splav Scientific Production Concern to meet the operational requirements of the Russian Army and was first fielded in 1987.

The prime contractor for the new 300 mm (10-round) A100 MRS is now known to be China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC).

According to the CPMIEC, their new A100 MRS is now in quantity production and in service with the People's Liberation Army (PLA). It is also being offered on the export market. As of early 2008 there are no known exports of the A100 system.


The new Chinese 300 mm (10-round) A100 system is very similar to the Russian 300 mm BM 9A52 (12-round) Smerch in rocket diameter, range, rate of fire and overall appearance.

The standard production Russian 300 mm BM 9A52 (12-round) Smerch is based on the older MAZ-543M (8 × 8) chassis but the Chinese version is based on a different locally developed cross-country 8 × 8 chassis with a different stabiliser design.

A100 fires unguided 300 mm rockets with a minimum range of 40 to 50 km and a maximum range of 85 to 120 km. The current production warhead weighs 200 kg and carries an undisclosed quantity of anti-armour/anti-personnel submunitions. It is understood that these are fitted with a High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead. Other warheads are under development.

The solid propellant rockets are 7.276 m long, have a total weight of 780 kg and a projected shelf life of 10 years. A new family of unguided rockets are under development by CPMIEC. These will have a minimum range of 70 km and a maximum range of 180 km, which can be fired from the A100 launcher.

The launcher and its associated resupply vehicle share the same 8 × 8 WS 2400 cross-country chassis that features a fully enclosed forward control cab. This has a combat weight of about 22 tonnes and a maximum road speed of about 60 km/h.

When deployed in the firing position, the A100 (8 × 8) launcher is stabilised by four hydraulically operated stabilisers that are lowered to the ground, two on either side.

On coming to a halt, the system takes six minutes to be prepared for action. Target information is provided to the launcher by the battery fire-control system installed on a 6 × 6 chassis.

Rocket accuracy is enhanced as the platform is fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) which also reduces target response times.

A complete salvo of 10 unguided surface-to-surface rockets can be launched in 60 seconds. The powered launcher, mounted at the rear of the chassis, is automatically laid on to the target from within the cab.

Once these rockets have been launched the A100 would normally redeploy to a reloading area where the rocket resupply vehicle would be waiting. According to the manufacturer, the system takes two minutes to come out of action. This is based on the same WS 2400 8 × 8 chassis and new rockets in their launch tubes are then reloaded using the onboard hydraulic crane. According to the CPMIEC, a complete system takes 20 minutes to be reloaded with 10 new rockets.

The latest A100 is being marketed alongside the older CPMIEC WS-1 and WS-1B (4-round) launchers that are installed on a Mercedes-Benz 6 × 6 truck chassis manufactured under licence by NORINCO.

WS-1 launches rockets with a maximum range of 80 km, while the more recent WS-1B launches rockets with a maximum range of 180 km. At least two types of warhead are available for the WS-1B, the ZDB-2B blast fragmentation and the SZB-1 that carries 466 submunitions.

Chinese sources indicated that the new A100 MRS has been developed to bolster the PLA's surface-to-surface firepower capability against the outlying islands of Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago.

Property Value
Main weapon caliber (mm)
Number of rocket lunchers
Length (mm)
Weight (kg)
Firing range (m)

Printable Version Send by email rss favorite Facebook Vkontakte Twitter Google+