Lightweight GMLRS/MLRS Alternatives

cobra97 Rocket System

When I looked at artillery systems a few weeks ago a couple of commenters thought GMLRS was a little overkill for many situations and proposed guided mortar rounds as an alternative for organic indirect precision fires. The cancellation of LIMAW(R) airmobile forces have very few options for precise delivery of munitions unless you want to count Javelin and Apache delivered Hellfire, neither of these is indirect and have obvious disadvantages.

Reviving a lightweight carrier for a smaller number of GMLRS rounds is still an option and the ability to carry these as a module on various vehicle platforms would provide a combination of capability and flexibility.

As we are on airmobile and raiding topics at the moment I thought another option might be worth investigating, a Think Defence less than serious fancy!

How about using the 70mm CRV-7 rockets we currently fire off the Apache Attack Helicopter?

The CRV-7 is cheap, effective and can be fitted with a Kongsberg precision seeker, either GPS or Semi-Active Laser.

Mad I hear you say!

Or is it?

Both the Turkish RA-7040 and Indonesian NDL-40 system use 70mm free-flight rockets, the same type as CRV-7

They are light, easily deployed and cheap. Both can also be used in the direct fire role, a volley of which I am sure would be rather effective against certain target types and would bring much-needed firepower into the airmobile firepower mix. The Nusantara Dual Function Launcher has 20 launch tubes and a maximum range of between 6 and 8km, depending on what type of rocket motor is used. It is not a precision weapons and its dispersion means that a full volley covers an area of 200x300m. At less than 750Kg it can be mounted on almost any light vehicle, small boats, hovercraft or towed as a trailer.

The Turkish MKEK RA-7040 is a comparable system, as is the LAU97 and Brazilian Avibras SBAT, which has a similar weight of 700kg. Avibras also make a newer system than the SBAT with a longer range of 12km. These can also be used as subcalibre training rounds on the larger ASTROS rockets.

Roketsan of Turkey also make a larger 107/122mm rocket system but this is much larger than the 70mm based systems.

Do these have any advantages over 81mm mortars or 105mm light guns in the light role?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments