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Pakistan seeking guided multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS)
July 27, 2017
Roketsan TR-122 and T-122 Sakarya multiple rocket launcher system. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Pakistan seeking guided multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS)

In a section of its 2015-2016 yearbook, the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) outlined the development and/or procurement of “extended range guided MLRS [multiple launch rocket systems].” The previous year also listed in the continued production and development of MLRS technology.

Notes & Comments:

MLRS comprise of two main elements: rocket munitions and a self-propelled platform to carry and launch those rockets. Generally, rocket artillery provides several advantages over howitzer shells, such as longer range and heavier warheads. Many armies relied on the combination of mobility and numbers to deploy MLRS as fast-moving saturation attack assets.

Pakistan’s mainstay MLRS is the Kahuta Research Laboratories KRL-122. In recent years, the system was fit with the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Yarmuk 122 mm rocket. As per POF, the Yarmuk has a range of 20 km, though Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) lists an extended-range 122 mm rocket with a range of 45 km. This is at-par with most overseas solutions, such as the Roketsan TR-122.

Based on the MoDP’s disclosure, Pakistan will be working to fit the Yarmuk-series of rockets with guidance systems and improve its accuracy. Currently, the Yarmuk has an accuracy of at least 80 m circular error probable (CEP), which is variable based on the launch elevation. On the other hand, the satellite-guided (INS/GPS) variant of the Roketsan TR-122 – i.e. TRG-122 – has a CEP of less than 30 m CEP.

Pakistan could emulate this model, though it will require modifying the Yarmuk to utilize a satellite-aided INS guidance suite and electro-mechanically actuated aerodynamic surfaces to achieve higher accuracy.

Roketsan marketed the TRG-122 to Pakistan in November at IDEAS, Pakistan’s biennial defence exhibition. Roketsan also revealed that Pakistan was also looking at 300 mm guided rockets (for which the Turkish company is offered its TRG-300). China’s NORINCO will likely be a leading contender for Pakistan’s rocket artillery requirements as well. According to Army Recognition, the NORINCO SR5 comprises of the 122 mm INS/GPS-guided BRE1, which has a range and accuracy of 40 km and 25 m CEP, respectively.

The pursuit of guided MLRS could also be a sign of the Pakistan Army increasing its reliance on network-enabled warfare. Efficient use of guided MLRS requires the artillery Fire Direction Centre (FDC) to have precise target location data, which could be had using forward observers or even intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)-enabled assets, such as helicopters, drones and armoured vehicles.

  • kaster

    why no develop our own? I know that will take time but it will be beneficial in long term

  • Aman

    I would suggest PAK ARMY to rely on long range Artillery
    Artillery are one of the most devastating weapons
    they shelling of Artillery is equivalent of Airstrikes.

    • Aaif khan

      And also to acquire long range air defence system. It is a high time for pak to get something similar to s400. There are some people who get terrify easily and I love this fact.

      • Aman

        Yeah me too !!!!!

      • Steve

        Better to indict HQ-9 directly. Use it for sensitive installations, air bases and major cities and ports. Keep asking Russia for S-400 as their trajectory of leaning toward us now will only get better. Some cash is needed so Pakistanis need to be less selfish and pay their taxes.

  • Steve

    I agree it will be like an air strike. We should develop our own rocket artillery in collaboration with Roketsan. CEP should be brought down to <20 meters with high quality seekers mass produced to reduce cost and facilitate exports. We also need to work on sensor fused weapons and fuel air explosives able to be launched by Raad or similar stand off weapons to deal with enemy's armour and truck based infantry respectively. We have a limited Air Force and they face a dense threat environment so stand off weapons are essential. Even Mirages will be good for stand off. A massive strike using everything above will stop a Cold Start in its tracks. A Hot Riposte to Cold Start.

    • Aaif khan

      Yo

  • Superior Shakeel

    Bilal didn’t we induct 36 units of 100km range A-100 MRLS from China with complete ToT with provision to buy 100 more.

    Whatever happened to that?
    I heard from some army person that CEP rose dramatically with increase in range especially when it crossed 40KM mark and even at 40 it was okay ish

    Then there was some chatter on guided rocket and it being very much expensive to use and procure or something to that effect which is true for something​ like area denial things like artillery guided rounds are not worth it if you’re on a tight budget anyways.

    Let me know if you know anything about the A-100 and why we are looking to buy the Turkish system.

    • I’m not sure about numbers or ToT, but the PA did induct A-100 systems.

      Guided 122mm and 300mm rockets are on the MoDP’s roadmap. The Turks are offering their solutions, but I wouldn’t say that the PA is interested. In fact, 122mm and (possibly) 300mm rockets are built locally, the key is to modify those designs into guided rockets. The Chinese and Turks both have experience in this area, so in all likelihood one (or both) of them will be roped into to provide that specific expertise.

      • Superior Shakeel

        So you mean to say that we will be able to mate the turkish guidance kit + hardware modification ie the control fins on the chinese rocket that we produce for the A-100 systems.

        Also 36 units are confirmed procured it’s on the SIPRI database about the follow on order I’m not sure but there was some ToT since we are manufacturing the rocket in house does lend some credibility to that argument.

        I hope whatever we end up deciding on comes to fruition ImHO just procure the guided Chinese rocket they have for the A-100 system.

        • I think the Turkish stuff can theoretically be mated to the Yarmouk 122mm rocket (and in turn produce a Pakistani TRG-122). As for modifying the 300mm A-100 – I don’t know if those are being produced in Pakistan at the moment. It’s possible, just not verified yet.

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