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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 450 mm ( 5-17.72 inches). It was developed on the basis of a Tectran VBT-2028 6×6 all-terrain vehicle for enhanced mobility.

Overview

Tectran AV-UCF fire control vehicle

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.[3] The launcher is capable of firing rockets of different calibres armed with a range of warheads.[4]

Each rocket resupply truck carries up to two complete reloads.[3]

Service history

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 66 Astros II artillery systems to Iraq. Iraq also built the Sajeel-60 which is a license-built version of the Brazilian SS-60. Sixty Astros II were sold to Saudi Arabia[5] and an unspecified number sold to Bahrain and Qatar. Total sales of the Astros II between 1982 and 1987 reached US$1 billion.[3] This fact made the Astros II multiple rocket launcher the most profitable weapon produced by Avibrás.[6]

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.[7] Years earlier, the Astros II system helped Angola to defeat the UNITA.

New generation

The next step is an ambitious program, the Astros 2020 (Mk6), based on a 6x6 wheeled chassis.[8] Being a new concept, it will require an estimated investment of R$1.2 billion, of which about US$210 million will be invested solely in development. It will be integrated with the cruise missile AVMT-300 with 300-km range during the stage of testing and certification. It is said that the venture will, for example, enable the Army to integrate the Astros with defense anti-aircraft guns, paving the way for the utilization of common platforms, trucks, parts of electronic sensors and command vehicles.[9][10] The Astros 2020 will also be equipped with a 180 mm GPS-guided rocket called the SS-AV-40 with a range of 40 km (25 mi) 40 rockets carried and SS-150 newly developed rockets with a claimed maximum range of 150 km. Four of them are carried.[11] 36 Astros 2020 systems are to be acquired.[12]

Variants

SS-30, SS-40, SS-60 and an Astros MK6 the Brazilian Army.
  • SS-30 – fires 127 mm rockets – Loads 32
  • SS-40 – fires 180 mm rockets – Loads 16
  • SS-AV-40 – fires 180 mm rockets – Loads 40
  • SS-60 – fires 300 mm rockets – Loads 4
  • SS-80 – fires 300 mm rockets – Loads 4
  • SS-150 – fires 450 mm rockets – Loads 4
  • FOG MPM - Anti-tank, anti-fortification and anti-helicopter missile
  • AV-TM 300 – Cruise Missile - Loads 2

Specifications

Astros MK6 inside.
Astros MK6
  • Range in indirect fire mode[13] (first figure is minimum range):
    • SS-30: 9–30 km
    • SS-40: 15–35 km

      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.[3] The launcher is capable of firing rockets of different calibres armed with a range of warheads.[4]

      Each rocket resupply truck carries up to two complete reloads.[3]

      Service history

      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 66 Astros II artillery systems to Iraq. Iraq also built the Sajeel-60 which is a license-built version of the Brazilian SS-60. Sixty Astros II were sold to Saudi Arabia[5] and an unspecified number sold to Bahrain and Qatar. Total sales of the Astros II between 1982 and 1987 reached US$1 billion.[3] This fact made the Astros II multiple rocket launcher the most profitable weapon produced by Avibrás.[6]

      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.[7] Years earlier, the Astros II system helped Angola to defeat the UNITA.

      New generation

      The next step is an ambitious program, the Astros 2020 (Mk6), based on a 6x6 wheeled chassis.[8] Being a new concept, it will require an estimated investment of R$1.2 billion, of which about US$210 million will be invested solely in development. It will be integrated with the cruise missile AVMT-300 with 300-km range during the stage of te

      Each rocket resupply truck carries up to two complete reloads.[3]

      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 66 Astros II artillery systems to Iraq. Iraq also built the Sajeel-60 which is a license-built version of the Brazilian SS-60. Sixty Astros II were sold to Saudi ArabiaIn the 1980s, Avibrás sold an estimated 66 Astros II artillery systems to Iraq. Iraq also built the Sajeel-60 which is a license-built version of the Brazilian SS-60. Sixty Astros II were sold to Saudi Arabia[5] and an unspecified number sold to Bahrain and Qatar. Total sales of the Astros II between 1982 and 1987 reached US$1 billion.[3] This fact made the Astros II multiple rocket launcher the most profitable weapon produced by Avibrás.[6]

      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.[7] Years earlier, the Astros II system helped Angola to defeat the UNITA.

      The next step is an ambitious program, the Astros 2020 (Mk6), based on a 6x6 wheeled chassis.[8] Being a new concept, it will require an estimated investment of R$1.2 billion, of which about US$210 million will be invested solely in development. It will be integrated with the cruise missile AVMT-300 with 300-km range during the stage of testing and certification. It is said that the venture will, for example, enable the Army to integrate the Astros with defense anti-aircraft guns, paving the way for the utilization of common platforms, trucks, parts of electronic sensors and command vehicles.[9][10] The Astros 2020 will also be equipped with a 180 mm GPS-guided rocket called the SS-AV-40 with a range of 40 km (25 mi) 40 rockets carried and SS-150 newly developed rockets with a claimed maximum range of 150 km. Four of them are carried.[11] 36 Astros 2020 systems are to be acquired.[12]

      Variants