Beijing: Chinese PLA has claimed that its artillery force rockets, capable of hitting targets at 150 kilometres, are far superior in terms of automation and firepower than those of its US and Russian counterparts and can “inflict a metal storm” on the enemy.
“The power of each of my battalion’s rocket launchers is equal to that of a whole battalion equipped with traditional artillery guns,” said Wang, political supervisor of the rocket artillery battalions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest standing army.
“To be specific, each rocket can cover and destroy a vast area equivalent to several football fields, while each launcher can fire more than 10 rockets within several minutes,” state-run China Daily quoted him as saying.
“Moreover, as the result of stringent training, we now boast accuracy rates that are almost as high as those of surface-to-surface missiles. All this means no enemy can survive our strike,” Wang said.
The battalion’s long-range multiple rocket launcher made its public debut during the Tiananmen Square military parade in 2009.
It was introduced as an effective complement to the PLA’s surface-to-surface strike arsenal, composed of tactical missiles and traditional artillery guns. The rocket launcher has a maximum firing range of 150 kms, according to battalion commanders.
In comparison, Russia’s BM-30 Smerch has a maximum range of 90 kms and the American M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System has a top range of about 70 kms, the Daily report said. Major Xuan Jidong, head of the training section at the brigade and former commander of the battalion, said the battalion will continue to improve its combat capability and is always ready to “inflict a metal storm” on the enemy.
Senior Colonel Yang Guobin, commander of the brigade, said “Compared with multiple rocket launchers used by foreign military forces, ours is stronger in terms of automation, computerisation and firepower. It is fair to say that this weapon is the PLA ground force’s most powerful tactical deterrent”.
When the battalion replaced its traditional artillery guns with the multiple rocket launchers in 2009, the new weapon seemed to be so sophisticated that many gunners at the battalion had to drop all they knew about conventional artillery guns and started to learn how to operate the launchers almost from scratch.
Since the battalion received the advanced weapon, it has taken part in a series of exercises, Yang said. All the nearly 100 rockets the battalion launched in drills in the recent past hit their targets, which means that the battalion has achieved top accuracy rates, he said.
To fit the advanced weapon to various combat scenarios, such as those in coastal regions, plateaus and mountainous areas, artillerists in the battalion have prepared 12 combat deployment plans as well as several launch front layouts, the senior colonel said.