Chinese WM-80 MLRS – Armenia's most failed weapon in the battle for Karabakh


Image source: vestnik-rm.ru

The Armenian defense Ministry purchased WM-80 multiple launch rocket systems from the people's Republic of China in the late 1990s.

It is not known how much this equipment cost the budget, but, as local sources informed, the Chinese made a big discount. According to available data, 8 combat vehicles were received, which were distributed in half - between the armed forces of Armenia and the army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh.

In principle, 20 years ago, these MLRS were quite powerful and effective weapons. 273-mm rockets could hit targets at a distance of up to 80 km.

The starting weight of one munition reaches 550 kg, the weight of the warhead-150 kg. Three types of warheads were used: high-explosive, thermobaric and cluster.

A total of 8 guides can be placed on one machine. The four-axle TAS5382 all-terrain vehicle was used as a platform. The maximum speed on the highway is 70 km/h. Crew - 5 people.

To ensure the loading process, there are special machines with a crane.

WM-80 for two decades of operation did not often fall into the lenses of photo and video cameras, however, from time to time they were shown at military parades.

During the fighting, it was expected that the installations could cause significant damage to the enemy, but this did not happen. Only one fact of using these MLRS is known, but the missiles fell, as they say, in an open field, and the scattered cluster submunitions did not work. Apparently, the expired storage period affected.

According to video footage released by the Azerbaijani military Department on October 9, drones caught two such installations on the March and destroyed them.

The WM-80 was not seen anywhere else, and unlike other weapons systems that participated on the Armenian side, they were probably the most failed examples of those that were at the front, as they did not cause any damage to the enemy. Although there was potential for this. But the Armenian side did not have effective means of reconnaissance and guidance, plus two decades of operation and the lack of new ammunition that should have replaced substandard ones affected.

Dmitry Lemeshko

Aysor TV video

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