|Manufacturer:||I.M.I. Israel Military Industries Ltd|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
|Name:||Multiple rocket launcher|
The LAR-160 Light Artillery Rocket System consists of a multiple rocket launcher mounted on mobile platform. It has one or two factory-sealed, expendable launch pod containers (LPCs) with 160 mm diameter rockets, carrying unitized or clustered submunition warheads to ranges up to 45 km. In its standard configuration, each launcher accommodates two 13 rocket LPCs. The system can be adapted to various platforms, tailored to customer requirements: tracked, wheeled or towed chassis. A special version is available with a light launcher which can be tailored for specific transport modes. It can be carried by helicopters and was designed to provide long-range, heavy fire support to light, highly mobile airborne units. This independent system includes a launcher towed by a light vehicle such as a jeep or HMMWV.
The Light Artillery Rocket (LAR) system consists of a tracked or wheeled (typically 6 × 6) all-terrain vehicle or trailer on which is mounted a multiple rocket launcher holding two factory-sealed, expendable launch pod containers (LPCs) with fuzed 160 mm diameter rockets in their launch tubes.
The LPCs, which also serve as storage and transportation containers for the rockets, can be rapidly replaced in the field after the rockets have been fired. When the rockets are fired, they burst frangible covers over the forward and aft ends of the launch tubes.
The Mk I system was first deployed on a French Nexter Systems (previously Giat Industries) AMX-13 light tank chassis by the Venezuelan Army. The Mk I was followed in production by the Mk II and more recently by the Mk IV systems. The Mk IV system, having the same dimensions as the other rockets but using a modified propellant, has a range of 45 km.
The rockets are 160 mm in diameter and 3.4 m long, employing composite solid propellants. Wraparound stabilising fins deploy when the rocket exits the launcher. The Mk I version of the LAR rocket, weighing 100 kg, carries a 40 kg HE-COFRAM warhead activated by a super-quick impact fuze or proximity fuze. Maximum effective range is 30 km. Its launch pod containers hold 13 or 18 rockets each, with two pods on the launcher.
The production Mk II version rocket weighs 110 kg. Its 46 kg warhead can be an HE-COFRAM type or a cluster warhead containing 104 CL-3022-S4 AP/AM submunitions. A remotely set electronic time fuze opens the canister at the appropriate height to give area coverage of about 31,400 m2 for each cluster warhead. The submunitions are fitted with a self-destruct fuze.
Thirteen rockets are loaded in each launch pod container. Like the other versions of the LAR, the Mk II has a minimum range of 12 km. Its maximum range is 35 km.
The launchers are being mounted on heavy truck chassis, for example a German Mercedes Benz (6 × 6). Suitable chassis for mounting the modular launcher are light tanks (such as AMX-13), medium tanks (such as M47 and M48), heavy trucks (such as M809, MAN, Steyr and Mercedes), self-propelled howitzer (M109) and a trailer towed by a heavy truck. In its standard configuration, each launcher accommodates two 13-rocket launch pod containers. A light version with one launch pod is available for towing behind jeeps.
The LAR incorporates a modern C3I system called ACCS, which has a total interface capability to all common artillery elements including meteorological unit, forward observers as well as sophisticated mapping, GPS and other items.
Elevation and traverse of the launchers are performed by an electrohydraulic system, which is backed up by a manual system. When the system is fitted on a wheeled chassis, two hydraulically operated stabilisers are lowered to the ground to provide a more stable firing platform.
The launcher is operated by a computerised fire-control system, which is fully integrated with the ACCS, so enabling each one to operate as a one-gun battery.
All 26 160 mm unguided rockets can be fired in less than 60 seconds and the launchers are reloaded in less than 5 minutes by the truck driver and launcher crew from conventional army trucks equipped with a 15 t/m hydraulic crane.
Israel Military Industries, teamed with Aerostar of Romania, is upgrading the Romanian Aerostar 122 mm (40-round) APRA multiple rocket launcher system to a new configuration called LAROM. This integrates the Israel Military Industries 160 mm rocket system into the existing platform. As of early 2008, Romania is the only known user of the LAROM upgrade. Full details of the LAROM 160 mm upgrade are given in a separate entry.
A light launcher, which can be tailored for specific transport modes, has been specially supplied for several customers. It can be carried by helicopters and was designed to provide long-range, heavy fire support to light, highly mobile airborne units. This is an independent system that includes a launcher towed by a light vehicle such as a jeep or US AM General HMMWV. The towing vehicle is equipped with a light crane for loading the LPCs. A second vehicle, such as a light truck, carries the initial ammunition, which includes at least two LPCs of eight or more rockets each. The launcher system is equipped with an optical aiming system, communications equipment and a land navigation system. The trailer-mounted launcher is stabilised when deployed in the firing position by four hydraulically operated stabiliser legs.
The LAR launcher is not restricted to firing 160 mm rockets. Any launch pod container with a suitable interface can be mounted on the launcher. The pods are fully interchangeable with pods containing other size rockets, so a commander has a wide range of options without having to field completely separate systems. As new types of submunitions and mines are developed, they are being incorporated into submunition warheads.
ACCULAR, a unique Israel Military Industries development, is an accurate artillery rocket system, based on the LAR family. With its unique trajectory correction system, accuracy of the rockets is said to be equal to that of conventional tube artillery.
According to Israel Military Industries, it was only natural that this artillery rocket system will be significantly upgraded to better meet the requirements of the modern battlefield.
As with other members of Israel Military Industries family of artillery rockets, the system can be used on various ground platforms including tanks, standard trucks, trailers and others.
In addition, for rapid deployment forces and their requirement for air transportability, special towed models are also available.
The modular design of the system allows varying the quantities of rockets (8, 10 or 13) in sealed launch pod containers on the launcher to meet the load capacity.
The ACCULAR concept can be adapted to different types and sizes of Israel Military Industries rockets and is valid through all artillery ranges.
The ACCULAR is claimed to represent only a moderate increase in cost. The major investment (technological and economic) is made on the existing command post while the cost increase in the rocket is relatively marginal.
By providing artillery rockets with increased accuracy to a level of that obtained by conventional tubed artillery systems, ACCULAR enables the optimal deployment of smart munitions (such as top attack type or scatterable anti-tank mines) which require deployment in close vicinity to the target.
The Israel Military Industries ACCULAR concept may be adapted to different models and types of rockets and claimed to be a major breakthrough in this field as the upgrading of a free-flight rocket has now become a reality.
This system has now been applied to the MLRS used by the Israel Defence Force under a contract awarded in mid-1998 to Israel Military Industries. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, prime contractor for the 227 mm MLRS system, is also involved in this programme.
Late in 2003, Israel Military Industries announced that it had successfully completed flight tests for its trajectory correction system for the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control 227 mm MLRS rocket.
The design verification, conducted late in September 2003, for a range of 35 km, marked the end of a 10-year development contract to enhance the accuracy of the 227 mm MLRS rockets used by the Israel Defence Force. The system is now in production for the 227 mm MLRS used by the IDF.
According to Israel Military Industries, the trajectory correction system will reduce by 95 per cent the number of rockets required to neutralise a given target when compared to standard production unguided rockets.
The 160 mm ACCULAR is fitted with a Trajectory Correction System (TCS) which includes a steering unit mounted towards the nose that includes an electronic unit, gas generator and valve.
After launch, the ground control unit establishes a datalink with the rocket and calculates the current trajectory and corrections necessary to reach the target.
The actual course correction phase is carried out as the rocket is accumulating environmental data that affects its flight course. Through this process, course correction is performed in a closed loop as the ground control unit commands the rocket steering to correct its trajectory.
The type of warhead depends on the user's operational requirement, for example a cargo warhead containing 104 High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) bomblets fitted with a self-destruct fuze mechanism.
Argentina uses the LAR 160 mm on a TAM chassis under the designation of the CAL 160. Details of this and the 350 mm CAL 350 are given in a separate entry. Production of this is understood to be complete.
This is a fully stabilised Naval Artillery Rocket (NAVLAR) system based on the ground-based LAR 160 mm system but that has been modified for naval applications. According to Israel Military Industries, it can fire all 160 mm rockets and the system can be installed on surface craft as small as 1,000 tonnes.
In 2005 it was revealed that Israel Aerospace Industries and Israel Military Industries were developing a new surface-to-surface rocket called EXTRA (EXTended Range Artillery). This has a maximum range of 150 km and available details are provided in a separate entry.