Astros II MLRS

ASTROS II (Artillery SaTuration ROcket System) is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher produced in Brazil by the Avibras company. It features modular design and employs rockets with calibers ranging from 127 mm to 300 mm. It was developed on the basis of a Tectran VBT-2028 6x6 all-terrain vehicle for enhanced mobility.

Astros II are normally grouped in artillery batteries consisting on average of about 13 vehicles: 6 of them are Astros II launchers, 6 are rocket resupply trucks and 1 a special radar-equipped vehicle controlling the fire-control system. The launcher is capable of firing rockets of different calibres armed with a range of warheads.

Each rocket resupply truck carries up to two complete reloads.

Variants

  • SS-30 - fires 127 mm rockets - Loads 32
  • SS-40 - fires 180 mm rockets - Loads 16
  • SS-60 - fires 300 mm rockets - Loads 4
  • SS-80 - fires 300 mm rockets - Loads 4
  • SS-150 - fires 300 mm rockets - Loads 4
  • MTC-300 - cruise missile with a range of 300 kilometers (under development)

Operators
  • ASTROS-II SS-30 in firing position while being displayed as part of a demonstration of Saudi Arabian equipment during Operation Desert Shield.
  • Angola Angola
  • Bahrain Bahrain
  • Brazil Brazil
  • Brazilian Army 20 Astros II (5 batteries) and 18 Astros 2020 (4 batteries)
  • Brazilian Marine Corps will use a naval variant, 6 Astros 2020 (1 battery)
  • Malaysia Malaysian Army 54 Astros II 
  • Indonesia Indonesian Army 36 Astros II on order
  • Iraq Iraq 66 Astros II (also built under licence as the Sajil-60).
  • Qatar Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 76 Astros II
Astros II MLRS
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Avibras
Origin Brazil
Country Name Origin Year
Brazil 1983
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Angola View
Saudi Arabia 1982 1987 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Avibras 1983 164 View

The ASTROS II artillery system entered service with the Brazilian Army in 1983. The system is battle proven, having been used in action by the Iraqi Army in the Gulf Wars.

In the 1980s, Avibrás sold an estimated sixty-six Astros II artillery systems to Iraq. Iraq also built the Sajil-60 which is a license-built version of the Brazilian SS-60. Sixty Astros II were sold to Saudi Arabia and an unspecified number sold to Bahrain and Qatar. Total sales of the Astros II between 1982 and 1987 reached US$1 billion. This fact made the Astros II multiple rocket launcher the most profitable weapon produced by Avibrás.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Avibrás worked almost exclusively with the manufacturing of rockets and multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), such as the Astros II, in addition to developing antitank and antiship missiles. At its peak, Avibrás employed 6,000 people; later it would be reduced to 900 people in the early 1990s as the arms industry demand fell. Even so, in the first Gulf War in 1991, the Astros II was successfully used by Saudi Arabia against Iraq. Years earlier, the Astros II system helped Angola to defeat the UNITA.

Specifications
Weight 10,000 kg (22,046 lbs)
Length 7 m (20 ft)
Width 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Height 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
Crew 3
Cartridge Rocket length: 4.20 m (13 ft 9 in)
Rocket weight: 152 kg (335 lb)
Rocket weight 180mm (7.08in), 152 kg (335 lb) Caliber
Maximum firing range 16,000m (17,500yds)
Main armament Launcher Loader Module
Secondary armament 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun
Engine Mercedes OM422 8-cylinder diesel, 280 hp (209 kW)
Suspension 6x6
Operational range 480 km (298 mi)
Speed 90 Km/h (56 mph)

End notes