Massive Rocket Launcher for the UAE

The MCL demonstrated at the recent IDEX show.


The UAE is getting ready to face the Iranian threat. Jobaria Defense Systems (JDS) Multiple Cradle Launcher MCL has unveiled its Multiple Cradle 122mm Rocket launcher system at the recent IDEX defense expo in the UAE. I-HLS reports.

The MCL is A 10 wheel semitrailer mounting four power-operated rocket launchers, each carrying 60 x122mm rockets in three blocks of 20 rockets each. The system can fire Roketsan 122mm TR-122 rockets fitted with a high explosive (HE) warhead activated by a point detonating fuze or Roketsan TRB-122 rockets fitted with HE steel ball warhead activated by a proximity fuze. The maximum range is being quoted as 40km, with a minimum range of 16km.

The semi-trailer is equipped with an auxiliary power unit allowing more autonomy for the weapon system. 10 stabilizers extracted before firing are used to level the platform. A global positioning/inertial navigation system and computerized fire control system are used for position location and increased accuracy. The operator can select firing a single pod, a number of pods, or fire the full load of 240 rockets in under two minutes. Each launcher cradle is also provided with an independent inertial reference unit, enabling accurate ballistic setting even under rapid salvo firing.

The platform is towed by an Oshkosh Defense 6×6 Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET). HET is fitted with a protected cab, an air conditioning system and a central tyre inflation system. The entire system is operated by a crew of three: commander, navigator and driver and can be operated in an autonomous mode or integrated in an overall higher-level artillery fire control system.

Once the rockets have been launched, the system would normally redeploy to another position where new pods of rockets would be rapidly loaded using the on-board crane of the dedicated support vehicle.

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the German Schwerer Gustav, the largest gun ever built, used in the Eastern Front by the Germans. Photo: Vikimedia

The MCL integrates a complete multiple-launch rocket battalion on a single platform, operating this battalion by merely three men. From a technological and technical design perspective – an impressive undertaking. But is this formidable system really needed? The sheer size and massive firepower delivered by the system reminds me of the German Schwerer Gustav, the largest gun ever built, used in the Eastern Front by the Germans. This gun weighed over 1300 tons, and was designed to fire a seven ton projectile to a target 47 kilometer away, but it didn’t win the war for the Germans.

Such formidable war machines are useful in relatively static campaign, when an army sieges an enemy. The German gun was used during the siege on the fortress of Sevastopol, and in the Leningrad campaign. Does the UAE plan to siege anyone? or is it at risk of being sieged by others? in that case, would it be wise to place a compete MRL battalion on a single platform or disperse it to multiple positions, hopefully surviving annihilation by enemy attack? Obviously a quad MCL becomes easy target for attack

It seems that despite its impressive might, The MCL represents an uncommon concept of a weapon system developed without much consideration to operational flexibility, cost, or the survivability of a potentially strategic asset. When money is no object, this is what you get. [/ismember]

The MCL demonstrated at the recent IDEX show.
The MCL demonstrated at the recent IDEX show.