Military Review

Chinese multiple launch rocket systems 1950-1970s

22

The fighting on the Korean Peninsula demonstrated that multiple launch rocket systems were one of the most effective artillery weapons available to the Chinese People's Volunteers.


During the Cold War, the PLA command paid great attention to the MLRS. Along with the improvement of existing jet systems, new installations and ammunition for them were actively created.

The use of combat vehicles rocket artillery BM-13N


Until the second half of the 1960s, the Chinese rocket artillery regiments were armed with BM-13N vehicles on the American Studebaker US6 chassis. Although this was a violation of the terms of Lend-Lease in connection with the outbreak of the "cold war", which threatened to develop into a "hot" one, no one was interested in this issue.

In 1952, Soviet specialists helped establish the production of M-13-UK rockets at Chinese enterprises, and M-1950-UK-13 at the end of the 1s, which made it possible to reduce dependence on supplies from the USSR.

The Studebaker was a very good truck for its time, but soon after the end of World War II, the Americans not only stopped supplying them to the USSR, but also demanded the return of a significant part of the trucks that were in service.

In this regard, in 1949, the production of BM-13NN rocket artillery combat vehicles began on the ZIS-151 chassis. In 1958, the BM-13NM installation based on the ZIL-157 went into series. In 1966, the BM-13NMM vehicle on the chassis of the ZIL-131 vehicle entered service.

Before the breakdown of military-technical cooperation with the USSR, a certain number of BM-13NN and BM-13NM were delivered to the PRC. In 1959, the PLA adopted a Type 50 self-propelled gun on the Jiefang CA-30 chassis (Chinese copy of the ZIL-157). The peak of production of the Chinese "Katyushas" fell in 1961, when the PLA handed over 170 machines. The release of MLRS Type 50 with an average annual rate of 150 vehicles continued until 1967. Chinese Katyushas were actively exploited until the early 1980s. They were kept in storage until the mid-1990s.

Due to the fact that the PLA received more advanced MLRS and the outright obsolescence of combat vehicles of the BM-13 family, attempts were made in the PRC to provide "Katyusha" with a "second wind".


Type 74 Remote Mining Machine

In 1974, in China, on the basis of the BM-13NM, a Type 74 remote mining system was created. For this purpose, new rockets with an over-caliber warhead were developed, resembling the Soviet M-31 in appearance.

The self-propelled launcher carried 10 missiles. The weight of the installation in the firing position was 8780 kg. The maximum speed on the highway with rockets is up to 40 km / h. On a dirt road - no more than 15 km / h.

A Type 74 rocket with an over-caliber warhead with a diameter of 284 mm and a mass of 110 kg was equipped with ten Type 72 anti-tank mines in a plastic case. The projectile length was 2470 mm.


Type 74 Remote Mining Machine in the Chinese Revolution War Museum

At a distance of 1500 m, one vehicle in 15 seconds. could put a minefield of 180x200 m. Later, a Type 83 rocket weighing 127 kg with a maximum firing range of 3500 m was introduced into the ammunition load.

Rocket launchers for remote mining Type 74 operated in the PLA until the beginning of the XXI century, much outlasting the basic "Katyusha", and were subsequently replaced by installations of Type 79.

MLRS Type 58


In parallel with the licensed release of Soviet installations in China, their own MLRS were developed. In 1958, a Type 58 multiple rocket launcher was tested and put into service, which fired American 114-mm M16 rockets. Unlike the 4,5-inch feathered M8 aviation NAR, the M16 missile was stabilized in flight by rotation, provided by eight gas nozzles inclined to the projectile axis. The weight of the M16 projectile was 19,3 kg, including 2,16 kg of rocket fuel and 2,36 kg of high-explosive explosives. Length - 787 mm.

Chinese multiple launch rocket systems 1950-1970s
MLRS Type 58 at the Military Museum of the Chinese Revolution

The towed 24-barreled Chinese MLRS largely repeated the American T66 multiple launch rocket launcher and had a maximum firing range of 4500 m.The weight of the launcher without shells was 580 kg. In the vertical plane, guidance was provided in the range of angles from 0 ° to + 45 °, in the horizontal plane - within 20 °. The launcher was loaded from the muzzle.

By the standards of the late 1950s, the 114-mm Type 58 installation had good characteristics, but it was not widely used in the PLA. Now it is difficult to say why it happened so. Perhaps the Chinese industry has not been able to master the mass production of its own analogue of the RS M16.

MLRS Type 63



A great success of the Chinese designers was the creation of a 107-mm towed multiple launch rocket launcher Type 63. It was officially adopted by the PLA in 1963, but its deliveries to the troops actually began in the late 1960s.


Towed MLRS Type 63 at the Military Museum of the Chinese Revolution

A number of experts believe that the Soviet BM-63 had an impact on the appearance of the Chinese Type 14 installation and the design of rockets. However, even before the 140-mm BM-14 MLRS and its missiles were at the disposal of the Chinese specialists, China had already managed to recreate the American 114-mm T66 multiple launch rocket launcher.


Chinese MLRS Type 63 and Type 58 at the Military Museum of the Chinese Revolution

One way or another, but for some reason of their own, to the detriment of the power of the warhead, the Chinese designers reduced the caliber of the towed MLRS Type 63, while the number of launch tubes was reduced to twelve.

However, the same история happened with the first independently created MLRS in the PRC Type 505 and Type 506, in which it was originally supposed to use the American 114-mm M8 rocket. But in this case, due to technological difficulties in the production of missiles, the caliber of the Chinese projectile was reduced to 102 mm. In addition, a decrease in the caliber and number of launch tubes made it possible to make the rocket launcher lighter, which in the 1960s was very important for the Chinese army, which was experiencing a shortage of mechanical means of propulsion.

From the very beginning, the creators of the towed 107-mm MLRS were tasked with making it as simple and inexpensive as possible. I must say that the Chinese designers succeeded.


The launch tubes were mounted on a simplified and lightweight sprung carriage. The rotary machine could be directed horizontally in a sector with a width of 32 ° and vertically from 0 to 57 °. During the tests, it turned out that the installation has a tendency to jump while firing. To compensate for this phenomenon, in addition to the two sliding frames used in the stowed position for towing, reclining stops were added at the front. During firing, the installation is hung out on the stands and stops, while the wheels do not touch the ground and can be dismantled.


The installation turned out to be quite light and compact, its weight is 613 kg. Towing can be carried out by a light off-road vehicle, at a highway speed of up to 50 km / h.

MLRS Type 63 serves a crew consisting of 5 people, capable of recharging in 3-4 minutes. All twelve rockets can be fired within 7-9 seconds. An electric remote control is used to control the fire and there is the possibility of firing single projectiles.

MLRS Type 63 uses shells ranging from 780 to 860 mm long and weighing 18-18,8 kg. At the rear of the rocket is a solid-propellant jet engine with a sustainer nozzle and six oblique nozzles designed to rotate the projectile.


Initially, the main ammunition was considered to be a high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a warhead weighing 8,33 kg, equipped with 1,26 kg of TNT. When this projectile explodes, more than 1200 lethal fragments are formed with a guaranteed hitting radius of 13 m. in a radius of up to 1970 m, it scatters granules of white phosphorus, burning for 5 seconds.

The muzzle velocity of a standard high-explosive fragmentation projectile is 385 m / s. The maximum firing range is 8300 m. The direct fire range is up to 4000 m.

Soon after the start of mass production of the towed Type 63, a self-propelled MLRS was created on the chassis of the Nanjing NJ-230 truck (the Chinese version of the GAZ-63). Subsequently, 107-mm rocket launchers were mounted on other off-road vehicles.


In the late 1970s, an extremely lightweight collapsible installation Type 63-1, designed for paratroopers, mountain shooters and infantrymen operating in the jungle, entered service.

Currently, the Chinese Rapid Reaction Forces have a self-propelled version of the 107-mm MLRS, mounted on an ATV.


Due to the good operational and combat characteristics, as well as the low cost, Chinese 12-barreled rocket launchers are widely used.

Initially, MLRS Type 63 entered service with artillery divisions of infantry regiments. According to the staffing table of the second half of the 1970s, in addition to 120-mm mortars, each division had a jet battery equipped with six 107-mm launchers.


In the 1990s, the PLA began to consider light towed MLRS Type 63 as a means of fire support for the battalion level. Until now, several hundred 107-mm rocket launchers are in the artillery units of the airborne and mountain rifle forces of the PLA, and are also in storage.

MLRS Type 63 were popular with foreign buyers. Rocket launchers of this type were officially supplied to 13 countries, and not officially to numerous rebel groups and armed formations.


Chinese 107-mm mounts were very popular with the Afghan mujahideen. Often the rockets were fired from homemade gutters, slate roofs, or a suitably shaped rock support. It is clear that the accuracy of fire in this case was very low, but when the target was an airfield or a large military garrison, they put up with it.


Specially commissioned by the Afghan armed opposition in the second half of the 1980s, they began to produce a single-shot installation on a light collapsible machine. Subsequently, such primitive launchers were homemade in small mechanical workshops.


The production of Type 63 installations and rockets for them was established in the DPRK, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Turkey and Azerbaijan.


Chinese 107-mm MLRS have participated in many conflicts around the world. Despite the fact that more than 63 years have passed since the appearance of Type 50, this installation still remains relevant and in demand.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of MLRS, which were in service with the PLA in the 1950-1970s


After the end of the Korean War, in the PRC, only one MLRS, Type 63, was independently developed and launched into mass production. However, this very successful light installation, due to the relatively small firing range and mass of the projectile warhead, was a means of direct fire support for the regimental and battalion echelon. and was unsuitable for solving more serious problems.

To destroy long-term defensive structures and defeat enemy troops in places of their concentration in the 1950-1970s, the PLA had rocket artillery regiments equipped with Soviet BM-13NM and their Chinese clones - Type 50.

In the PRC, attempts were made to improve 132-mm rockets. However, it was not possible to achieve noticeable results in this direction. Almost everything that could be achieved to improve the characteristics of the feathered missiles developed in the mid-1930s was done in the USSR during the Second World War.

Theoretically, the firing range of the M-13 projectile could be increased by using more energy-intensive solid fuel, and the warhead could be equipped with explosives with greater destructive power. But the lack of experience and the weakness of the chemical industry did not allow Chinese specialists to create and implement an efficient fuel formulation. The mass production of missiles, equipped with warheads with more powerful, but also expensive explosive mixtures, turned out to be too expensive. In addition, it was not possible to eliminate the most serious drawback - too large dispersion of shells. In this regard, except for the creation of a Type 50 remote mining system based on the Type 74 MLRS, the Chinese Katyushas were operated practically unchanged until the decommissioning.

Thanks to the fact that the Soviet Union provided very large-scale assistance in the construction of Chinese heavy industry and in training personnel, by the mid-1960s, the PRC had formed the scientific and technical base necessary for the independent development of modern rockets.

But, despite the existing prerequisites, this did not happen. The main reason for the Chinese lag in the creation of MLRS was the "cultural revolution" that began in the mid-1960s. During the "cultural revolution" initiated by Mao Zedong, representatives of the cultural and technical intelligentsia were subjected to massive persecution and repression, which in turn led to an even greater scientific and technological slowdown in China, and work on new jet systems was completed only in the 1980s. ...

To be continued ...
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Articles from this series:
Multiple launch rocket systems used by Chinese People's Volunteers in the Korean War
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  1. Crowe
    Crowe 6 December 2021 18: 29
    +18
    Traditional thanks to the author for an interesting and beautifully illustrated article! And the War Museum of the Chinese Revolution is something with something!
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 6 December 2021 18: 44
      +13
      I join the kind words of the Leader! Sergey (the Author) is really great, he made me happy with interesting introductions and photographs of the Celestial RZSO!
      Thank you!
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 6 December 2021 20: 37
        +11
        For which I like Sergey's articles - the material is not picked up hackneyed. New, rare. Always illustrates well.
        Thank you, Sergey. We are waiting for the continuation.
        1. Toucan
          Toucan 7 December 2021 01: 02
          +5
          Quote: Leader of the Redskins
          For which I like Sergey's articles - the material is not picked up hackneyed. New, rare. Always illustrates well.
          Thank you, Sergey. We are waiting for the continuation.

          Totally agree with you! yes
          Sergei, already somehow previously answered in the comments, that he writes only about what he himself would be interested in reading. I understand that Sergei and his very smart wife Olya are not constrained in cash, and
          for Sergei, this is a hobby for the soul. Most likely, it is for this reason that Bongo publishes such interesting publications.
  2. strannik1985
    strannik1985 6 December 2021 18: 35
    +6
    And we refused from 140-mm TRS because of the high cost, it seems like request
  3. Pavel57
    Pavel57 6 December 2021 19: 14
    +9
    An interesting topic of a not very well-known page in history.
  4. Walking
    Walking 6 December 2021 20: 07
    +14
    The 107-mm installation was seen as a trophy during service in Afghanistan. In general, the firing of rockets was a cause for concern.
    1. militarist63
      militarist63 7 December 2021 00: 10
      +9
      The 107-mm installation was seen as a trophy during service in Afghanistan. In general, the shelling of rockets was a lot of concern.
      Yes, brother, they used to give us anxiety ... Fortunately, in our (mountain) surroundings, conditions were not particularly favorable for transporting Type 63 (even in a light version) and choosing a position, therefore they beat us with spirits with daily regularity, in Basically, 82-mm mines, which did not cause much harm to the ceilings of our dungeons (the main thing was not to catch a splinter on the surface) ... But sometimes these Chinese PCs flew in. Once, two of these hit the location of our unit. One (incendiary) broke through the ceiling of the support platoon's sleeping quarters and rushed there ... It was afternoon, there was no one in the room (everyone on the PCBs was cleaning after lunch). The second ended up in the underground barracks of the 2nd battery, breaking through the ceilings of Lenin's room, burst inside ... He poked the stands on the walls and furniture, the TV was not hooked ... There was no one in the Lenin's room. At this time (after lunch), there was sleep-training according to the schedule - everyone had to serve in the "secrets", in the duty crews of guns, computers on the Central Bank of Ukraine ... it was opened with a blast wave (in any case, when they jumped up from the babakh, they found it open), but the door "looked" into the passage between the beds ... and there was no one in the passage (at the time of the explosion) ... Therefore, both hits were not entailed no losses. So, just mischievous. In the support platoon, part of the belongings burned out (some of the bedding, boots, clothes, armor covers disappeared) and in the Leningrad room the furniture was damaged, not counting the visual agitation ... But, taking this opportunity, they immediately reported to the top about the incapacitation of various other valuable ..., for later cancellation. No, well, the same clothing and furniture were submitted for cancellation more than it actually fell into disrepair ... winked
  5. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 6 December 2021 20: 50
    +9
    Detailed article, respect to the author. The whole cycle is good.
  6. KKND
    KKND 6 December 2021 21: 13
    +10
    Ehh, sorry Lopatov disappeared somewhere from the VO. I remember how he said that China has already managed to surpass the Russian Federation in the subject of MLRS. Is this how we will find out at the end of this series of articles fellow
  7. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 6 December 2021 21: 24
    +9
    Indeed ... it is a little strange that the Chinese then limited themselves to 107-mm TRS! Well, for the Airborne Forces, guerrilla-type militia detachments, towed ("portable") 12-barrel 107-mm MLRS are very good! But there could be more "advanced" MLRS of a larger caliber on a self-propelled chassis! For example, the Yugoslavian 32-barrel 128-mm towed (and self-propelled) MLRS M-63 Plamen with TRS ...

    By the way, it is not surprising that the Chinese preferred MLRS with turbojet projectiles (TRS) ... Indeed, in the 50s and in the USSR, most of the "newly developed" MLRS used TRS: BM-14, BM-24 ... Features TRS and installations: TRS can be attributed to "short" ammunition, which means they are lighter ... The installations had "short" guides; and from here, too, were lighter ...
    By the way, the article shows an image of some kind of "self-made" 1-barrel installation of the "partisan" type! But there are also "factory" ones ...!

    1. Bongo
      8 December 2021 11: 37
      0
      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      By the way, the article shows an image of some kind of "self-made" 1-barrel installation of the "partisan" type! But there are also "factory" ones ...!

      And these are not wearable 130-mm mounts?
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 8 December 2021 12: 59
        +1
        Quote: Bongo
        And these are not wearable 130-mm mounts?

        I heard about 130-mm "partisan" installations ... But let's logically ... I have placed pictures of 1-barreled and 2-barreled installations ... Please note: the diameter and length of the guides are the same ... 130-mm installation-1- receiver ... as I know ... 130-mm MLRS are less common outside China compared to 107-mm installations ... which means that supplying 130-mm TRS is more difficult ... Well, the cherry on the cake .. .......

        63 식 107mm 다연장 로켓 - 유용원 의 군사 세계
        bemil.chosun.com
        발사관 하나 를 떼어 내서 운용 하는 85 식 로켓탄 발사기 출처: baike.sogou.com
        Type 85 107mm Rocket Launcher
      2. Catfish
        Catfish 11 December 2021 13: 22
        +3
        Hello Sergey!
        I didn't even have time to read your article - I thundered into the hospital. Something light, but not critical. Yesterday I was discharged, I will sleep off and make up for lost time. Because of the covid, the hospital is a continuous "don't go zone" - not a step out of the ward, there are no visits. In short - kicha, although he was lying in the Green Zone.
        But, thank God, now at home. yes
        Do not be ill there yourself, take care of yourself. drinks
        1. Bongo
          12 December 2021 02: 55
          +2
          Quote: Sea Cat
          Hello Sergey!
          I didn't even have time to read your article - I thundered into the hospital. Something light, but not critical. Yesterday I was discharged, I will sleep off and make up for lost time. Because of the covid, the hospital is a continuous "don't go zone" - not a step out of the ward, there are no visits. In short - kicha, although he was lying in the Green Zone.
          But, thank God, now at home. yes
          Do not be ill there yourself, take care of yourself. drinks

          Kostya, hello!
          By the fact that you disappeared from the air, I understood that not everything is going smoothly with you! I wish a speedy recovery! drinks
          Due to the relatively low population density in our country, the situation with the covid is not so acute. Although people also mow, my colleague's mother died from this infection yesterday, not very old, only 56 years old. sad
  8. Vlad Baryatinsky
    Vlad Baryatinsky 6 December 2021 22: 02
    +7
    Competent review!
  9. faiver
    faiver 7 December 2021 00: 03
    +4
    As always, it's nice to read such material - respect to the author good
  10. IImonolitII
    IImonolitII 7 December 2021 11: 23
    +4
    The author's articles are as always good) leave a comment for promotion)
  11. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 7 December 2021 13: 12
    -7
    The main reason for the Chinese lag in the creation of MLRS was the "cultural revolution" that began in the mid-1960s. During the "cultural revolution" initiated by Mao Zedong, representatives of the cultural and technical intelligentsia were subjected to massive persecution and repression, which in turn led to an even greater scientific and technological slowdown in China, and work on new jet systems was completed only in the 1980s. ...

    Repetition of the standard myth about the cultural revolution, about the "persecution of the intelligentsia" and about some kind of "scientific and technical inhibition."
    The period of the Cultural Revolution beat the period of the fastest acceleration of science and technology in the entire history of China in all areas, and above all in rocketry - from missiles for satellites to 107 mm MLRS, no less famous in the world than the Soviet 122 mm MLRS.
    1. zyablik.olga
      zyablik.olga 7 December 2021 14: 07
      +4
      Quote: Kostadinov
      Repetition of the standard myth about the cultural revolution, about the "persecution of the intelligentsia" and about some kind of "scientific and technical inhibition."

      Ask at your leisure when the first Chinese MiG-19 flew, when the PRC tried to launch it into series, and when it was possible to do so. As well as the history of the Chinese MiG-21 and S-75 air defense systems.
      Quote: Kostadinov
      107 mm MLRS are no less famous in the world than the Soviet 122 mm MLRS.

      But surprisingly, the creation of other Chinese MLRS and the above samples and the introduction of their mass production occurred when the negative consequences of the "Cultural Revolution" were overcome.
    2. Bongo
      8 December 2021 09: 18
      +5
      Quote: Kostadinov
      The period of the cultural revolution beat the period of the fastest acceleration of science and technology in the entire history of China in all areas, and above all in rocketry - from missiles for satellites to 107 mm MLRS, no less famous in the world than the Soviet 122 mm MLRS.

      I don’t know who was “beating” who there, but the “cultural revolution” greatly slowed down scientific and technological progress in the PRC. MLRS Type 63 was created before the "Cultural Revolution", but its delivery to the troops was delayed for about 10 years for this very reason.
  12. eehnie
    eehnie 8 December 2021 12: 11
    +3
    A very difficult topic, but very interesting. It's really difficult to complete the review, but I always find something new for myself.

    (Automatically translated from English. Below is the original commentary in English)

    Very difficult topic, but very interesting. It is really difficult to complete the overview, but I always find something new to me.