Multiple rocket launcher ASTROS-2 (Brazil)
Deliveries of the new MRLS ground troops Brazil. The program ASTROS-2020 Avibras Industria Aeroespacial company is building a new system modification ASTROS-2 Mk 6. In accordance with the existing agreement, delivery of the ordered military vehicles to be completed within the next few months. The first technique of the new model was assigned to the troops in November last year.
New fighting machine MLRS ASTROS-2 Mk 6 were established during the program ASTROS-2020. The program is a deep modernization of existing equipment with a significant increase of its characteristics. Besides the development of new techniques during the program offered slightly change the structure of units that must exploit promising MLRS. An equally important part of the ASTROS-2020 is the development of a new tactical cruise missile that is suitable to run from combat vehicle MLRS.
New Brazilian multiple rocket launcher ASTROS-2 Mk 6 is a further development of military technology ASTROS-2 family. MLRS of this family for the last three decades are the basis of rocket artillery ground troops Brazil. Development of a new MRL began in the second half of the seventies. As a notation for the new project was chosen abbreviation ASTROS (Artillery SaTuration ROcket System). The program was the creation of multiple launch rocket systems capable of using several types of ammunition. A variety of ammunition, as expected, had to provide greater flexibility in application of new technology.
To ensure high performance mobility all elements of the complex were performed on a single truck chassis Tatra T815-790PR39 6x6. Cars are equipped with 8-cylinder diesel engine Mercedes OM422 German production capacity of 280 hp The unified chassis allowed to provide approximately equal characteristics of all complex machines. Maximum speed of cars on the highway reaches 90 km / h, range - 480 kilometers.
The composition of MLRS ASTROS-2 includes several different elements:
- AV-LMU. Fighting machine with universal launcher;
- AV-RMD. Transport-loading machine with devices for transportation of ammunition and loading launcher. In the body of the car carrying eight transport-launch containers with missiles;
- AV-VVC. Command machine with communications equipment and management. AV-VVA machine can simultaneously manage three batteries MLRS ASTROS-2;
- AV-UCF. Automated fire control system. Complex AV-UCF is designed to collect information about the location and purpose of the MLRS begin making amendments to fire;
- Missiles of several types.
The structure of the battery MLRS ASTROS-2 includes six combat vehicles AV-LMU, six transport-charging machines AV-RMD and guidance and control system AV-UCF. Battalion MRLS consisted of three batteries, and one command car AV-MMC and two mobile workshops.
According to its general appearance and architecture combat vehicle AV-LMU, equipped with a launcher, is not very different from similar foreign-made equipment. So, in front of a three-axle chassis with cab located jobs driver, commander and gunner. Engine and transmission units part located at the front of the chassis. According to reports, crew cabin and the engine compartment are easy bulletproof armor. In the roof of the cab there is a hatch, over which is placed a heavy machine gun, intended for self-defense. If necessary, the crew of the machine can use smoke grenade launchers mounted on the roof.
Above the rear axle chassis is launcher for missiles. The design of this unit allows you to direct the packet is routed to the horizontal and vertical planes. Unlike many other MLRS, fighting machine complex ASTROS-2 has no proper guide to launch rockets. Inside a large box housing launcher are only four devices for securing freight containers with rockets launchers desired type. When shooting fighting machine stabilized using outriggers.
Transport and launch container for all types of missiles are box-like structure with the necessary quantity of tubular rails. Each launcher "pipe" put a rocket. Quantity of ammunition, ready to shoot depends on their type and size. Original project involved the use of five types of missiles with different characteristics:
- SS-30. The projectile caliber of 127 mm and a length of 3.9 meters. Start weight - 68 kg. The firing range - from 9 to 30 kilometers. Fighting machine AV-LMU can simultaneously carry 32 missiles and use of this type;
- SS-40. Rocket length of 4.2 meters and 180 mm caliber. With a launch weight of 152 kg, these missiles can fly at a distance of 15-35 km. On the launcher of placing up to 16 such munitions
- SS-60. Missile length 5.6 m 300 mm caliber, starting weight - 595 kg. On the launcher can accommodate only four such ammunition. Range - 20-60 km;
- SS-80. Dimensions and weight of the rocket match the SS-60, but the maximum range increased to 80 kilometers.
High firing range impact on the design of rockets. To preserve acceptable precision shooting at long distances designers Avibras Industria Aeroespacial firm had to develop new missiles original control system. Onboard automatic monitoring the situation of the missile and, if necessary, instructs the gasdynamic handlebars. Recently, working from an onboard gas generator, provide pitch control and yaw. Thanks to this control system was able to provide high-range shooting and at the same time retain sufficient accuracy.
Primary means defeat manpower, equipment and facilities of the enemy are high-explosive warheads designed for missiles of all types. In addition, the projectile SS-40, SS-60 and SS-80 were created cluster warheads with the possibility of incurring cumulatively fragmentation submunitions or antitank mines. Warhead for missiles SS-40 accommodates 20 submunitions missile SS-60 can carry 65 and SS-80 - 52 submunitions.
As the operation and development of MLRS ASTROS-2 has new features. Thus, within a few upgrades was updated electronic equipment of various machines complex. Another important result of the development of multiple launch rocket systems was the development of missiles SS-150 caliber 300 mm with a range of up to 150 km.
In 2011 the company Avibras Industria Aeroespacial in accordance with the presidential decree received an interest-free loan of 45 million reais (about U.S. $ 28 million). This loan was to start work on a new program ASTROS-2020. Under this program, contractor had to spend a number of research and development work aimed at significantly improving the characteristics of MLRS ASTROS-2. The total cost of all work on the project was estimated at 1.09 billion reais (675 million dollars). Completion of the work was defined in 2016.
In accordance with the wishes of the customer multiple rocket launcher ASTROS-2020 was to get an updated avionics equipment, as well as several new types of missiles. So, it was required to complete the project SS-150 missiles. In addition, an updated range of MLRS munitions had to enter the 180-mm rocket SS-AV-40 with a guidance system that uses satellite navigation.
In the near future MLRS ASTROS-2 must "learn" to perform some of the functions of tactical missile systems. Over the past few years, the company Avibras Industria Aeroespacial develops strategic cruise missile AVTM-300. Guided missile with a launch weight of 700 kg must overcome the transonic speed range up to 300 kilometers and deliver to the target 200-kilogram warhead. Rocket should use turbojet and combined guidance system. According to reports, to return to the target area rocket AVTM-300 will use an inertial navigation system, and for targeting the terminal phase of its flight to be equipped with a satellite navigation system.
In autumn last year completed the construction of pre-party combat and support vehicles date set, the designation ASTROS-2 Mk 6. After delivery to the troops enough new technology, it will be kept in batteries and battalions renewed composition. In addition to combat and transport vehicles charging and fire control of the batteries and battalions scheduled to meteorological station AV-MET and car radar artillery reconnaissance.
Current plans involve the Brazilian military department purchase 49 pieces of equipment from the MLRS ASTROS-2 Mk 6. Complex machines will be assembled in three batteries and transferred 6th group guided and unguided missiles in Formosa. Currently, as part of the unit, there are three batteries equipped with systems of salvo fire modification ASTROS-2 Mk 3. The last of the ordered vehicles will be handed over to the troops in 2018. Simultaneously with the construction machinery 6th group will be expanded in its composition will be a center of training and service center as well as a number of other important objects.
According to some reports, the Ministry of Defence of Brazil plans to not only buy new equipment, but also to update the old one. In the foreseeable future may be contracted for upgrading the troops MRLS ASTROS-2 Mk 3 to version Mk 3M.
Ground forces of Brazil received the first MLRS new model in 1983. At this point in the Brazilian armed forces, there are about 20 combat vehicles ASTROS-2. Soon after the new systems of salvo fire began to receive orders from overseas buyers. For 30 years the complex interested Angola, Bahrain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These countries have ordered a total of over two hundred combat vehicles and other equipment from the complex. The largest foreign buyer is Saudi Arabia, which received 76 units. 66 cars went to Iraq. Moreover, Baghdad has purchased a license and soon appeared MLRS Sajil-60, which is a modified version of ASTROS-2 with integrated design guides for SS-60 missiles. In 2012, Indonesia has ordered more than 40 machines complex.
Interest to the Brazilian foreign customers multiple launch rocket systems perfectly illustrates the fact that from 1982 to 1987, the total value of orders it has exceeded one billion U.S. dollars. After performing the bulk of these orders, in the early nineties, the firm Avibras Industria Aeroespacial was forced to reduce its staff in more than six times: six thousand workers have only 900.
MLRS ASTROS-2 took part in the fighting in the mid-eighties. Several combat vehicles for some time struck by UNITA troops. Details and results of these unknown attacks. The most active use of multiple rocket launchers Brazilian production refers to the "Gulf War." In early 1991, the system ASTROS-2 with varying degrees of success used by the military of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. According to some estimates, Iraq made an attempt to attack the enemy with these MLRS and during the 2003 conflict.
Over three decades of operation multiple rocket launcher ASTROS-2 has established itself as a universal set of weapons with good performance and great flexibility of application, ensuring fulfillment of various combat missions. The best proof of this is export contracts signed so far, as well as the modernization program ASTROS-2020. As the name of the latter, MLRS ASTROS-2 will remain in service at least until the next decade.
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