VLR 70 M93A3 Heron
|Manufacturer:||Agencija Alan d.o.o.|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
|Name:||Multiple rocket launcher|
The RH ALAN 70 mm (40-round) VLR 70 M93A3 Heron multiple rocket launcher is a single-axle trailer-mounted all-weather cross-country assembly designed for the area fire support artillery mission. It should be noted that RH ALAN is a marketing organisation. The actual rockets, launcher and other sub-systems are manufactured by a number of sub-contractors.
The modular system has 40 70-mm launch tubes arranged in banks in two 20-round boxes. Each 1.6 m long tube is smooth, with a single stainless steel guide tube and a locking device to hold the rocket secure once loaded. When fully loaded the trailer is capable of being towed at speeds up to 15 km/h across country; on asphalt roads at speeds up to 80 km/h; and on tarmacadam roads at speeds up to 50 km/h. It is also air-portable as an underslung helicopter load.
The Heron has the ability to launch unguided 70 mm calibre solid propellant surface-to-surface rockets either singularly at one per second or in ripples of two rockets per second up to the full capacity of 40 rounds. A remote-control firing device can be used at a distance up to 25 m from the launcher.
When deployed in the firing position, the launcher is supported by a jack lowered under the tow bar and one either side on outriggers. The latter are fitted with screw type jacks that can be operated by hand to stabilise the platform before firing commences.
The current 70 mm rocket used is the RAK 70 mm TF M95, which has a launch weight of 8.6 kg with 1.7 kg of double base propellant and can be fitted with the following types of warhead:
- 3.7 kg M95 HE-fragmentation (with 1.45 kg HE and instantaneous action impact fuze)
- 3.7 kg M95-O illumination
- 3.7 kg M95-D smoke
- 3.7 kg M95-I incendiary
- 3.7 kg M95-T training
An improved 70 mm range rocket, which increases the maximum range to 10,000 m from 8,100 m, is in development. The rocket launch weight is increased to 10 kg with the additional weight accounted for by a larger solid propellant rocket motor filled with 2.4 kg of double base propellant rather than the current 1.7 kg. Maximum velocity of the rocket is also increased to 550 m/s from 440 m/s.
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