The WS-1B multiple-launch rocket system was developed by the China National Precision Machinery Corporation (CPMIEC), based in Beijing, China.
The WS-1B is a long-range artillery rocket weapon and an advanced derivative of the WS-1 in service with the Army of the People’s Republic of China. The system fills the gap in firing range between a conventional self-propelled artillery system and a surface to surface tactical missile. The system is operated in a defensive or offensive role for deployment against targets deep behind enemy lines including military bases, massed armoured divisions, missile launch sites, airports and airstrips, harbours and military industrial bases.
The rocket launcher system is mounted on a 6×6 flatbed truck on a turntable.
CPMIEC developed a successor to the WS-1B, the WS-2, which has a range extended to 200km and armed with more accurate, guided rockets. The WS-2 weapon is fitted with six box-shape launchers and fires 400mm rockets.
WS-1B MLRS multiple launch rocket system
The WS-1 rocket reaches a maximum speed of Mach 4.2 and the maximum flight altitude is 30km, giving a minimum firing range of 40km and a maximum firing range of 100km with probability deviation of 1%. The WS-1 rocket, length 4.73m and diameter 0.302m, weighs 520kg with a 150kg warhead.
The WS-1B rocket, with a new high-performance rocket motor and warhead, reaches a maximum speed of Mach 5.2 and maximum flight altitude of 60km, giving a minimum firing range of 60km and a maximum firing range of 180km. The probability deviation is between 1% and 1.25%. The WS-1B rocket is longer than the WS-1, with length 6.37m but the same diameter. The take-off weight is 725kg with a 150kg warhead.
The free rocket consists of the warhead and fuse, an FG-43 rocket motor and the tail section. The FG-43 rocket motor is a single chamber, solid rocket motor with an advanced hydroxy-terminated polybutadine (HTPB) composition rocket propellant.
Two types of warhead can be fitted on the WS-IB rocket, a ZDB-2 blasting warhead or an SZB-1 submunition, which are selected according to the characteristics of the target.
The ZDB-2 blasting warhead is loaded with steel balls and prefabricated fragments. The SZB-1 submunition warhead provides an effective high power weapon against massed tanks. When the SZB-1 submunition warhead detonates, just under 500 bullets are expelled under high pressure.
The ground equipment of the multiple rocket system comprises: a rocket launch truck, a transport and loading truck and a firing command truck. An army rocket battery is equipped with one DZ-88B firing command truck, six to nine HF-4 rocket launch trucks and between six and nine QY-88B transport and loading trucks. Each rocket launch truck is equipped with over 20 rounds of rockets.
DZ-88B firing command truck
The DZ-88B firing command truck is equipped with a radio communications and data transmission system, a firing and control computer and simulation trajectory system, a global positioning system, a gyro-theodolite directional system plus infrared ranging system, a field meteorological detection system and a communication control unit.
HF-4 rocket launch truck
The HF-4 rocket launch truck is available in a four launch tube or eight launch tube configuration. The launch tubes have an elevation range of 0° to 60° with an elevation speed between 0.1° and 3° a second. The azimuth range is from -30° to +30° and the azimuthal adjustment speed is from 0.1° to 4° per second. The truck is equipped with four hydraulically operated stabilisers which are lowered in preparation for the rocket launch.