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Thai artillery receives upgraded version of NORINCO YW 306 MLRS with DTI-2 122mm rockets.

| 2021

As reported by JesusRoman in a tweet posted on October 24, the Institute Defense Technology of the Royal Thai Army supplied the artillery with an upgraded version of the 20-tube 122mm DTI-2 MLRS based on the Chinese-made Type 85 /YW306 from Norinco. In 2012, Thailand ordered 4 MLRS from China and received them in 2013. Firing tests were carried on by the Defense Technology Institute (DTI) since 2020.
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Rocket launcher system for DTI-2 122mm rockets mounted on Chinese-made Type 85/YW 306 MLRS delivered to the Thai artillery (Picture source: DTI)

The Type 85 series was developed by NORINCO in 1985, exclusively for the export market. For the Chinese army, a very similar Type 89 AFV was designed. The main user of the Type 85 series are the Royal Thai Armed Forces who received their first vehicles in 1987. In 1987, Thailand took delivery of the first of some 450 Type 85/YW 531 APCs. These had their Chinese 12.7 mm machine guns removed and replaced by a standard US .50 (12.7 mm) machine gun that was (and remains) standard on Thai tanks and APCs.

NORINCO’s Type 85 Self-Propelled Artillery Rocket Launcher or Type YW306 carries a container/pod of 30 130mm rockets mounted on the roof. A total of 60 rockets is carried on board. Crew: 6.

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Personnel of the Thai Defense Technology Institute prepare for a test-fire of DTI-2 122mm rocket from SR4 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System in 2020. (Picture source: DTI)

According to information published by the Defense Studies blog on September 5, 2020, Thailand's Defense Technology Institute conducted test-fires of local-made DTI-2 122mm rocket from Type 85 tracked APC (Armored Personnel Carrier and Chinese-made SR4 4x4 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) at Royal Thai Army Artillery Center Range, Lopburi province, in August of that year.

The DTI-2 seems to be the second generation of 122mm rocket developed by the Thai defense industry and the Thai Defence Technology Institute (DTI). It is the multiple launch rocket system research and development project designed and developed by DTI from the prior body of knowledge of the DTI-1 project. By the time that project was implemented during 2010-2014, DTI explored and analyzed research and knowledge development to design a 20-tube multiple rocket launcher system “DTI-2,” which is a 122 mm multiple ground rocket launcher with a 10 km firing range, and also developed tracked type launch platforms and a mockup of the rocket tube to serve a statistic and dynamic test.

In 2016, DTI had been continuously conducting research and development on the DTI-2 of the 122 mm rocket with different firing ranges for statistic and dynamic tests, carried out detailed design and blueprint drawing of the firing system with the provision of tools and equipment to accommodate the prototype of the 122 mm rocket with a 10 km firing range. DTI also developed the firing system and the inner tubes as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Royal Thai Army and DTI at Kao Pu-Loan Artillery Center in Lopburi.

Two types of combat vehicles were used to test-fire the local-made DTI-2 122mm rocket including the T-85 based on the Chinese-made Type 85 tracked armored APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) also referred in China as Type YW 531 H (YW 306) and the SR4 4x4 MLRS (Multiple Rocket Launcher System) in service with the Thai army.

In November 2015, at Defense & Security Exhibition in Thailand, Defence Technology Institute has unveiled its new project of tracked mobile MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) based on the Chinese-made APC Type 85 and using local-made rockets of 122mm.

Another MLRS model, the SR4 is a wheeled multiple launch rocket system developed by the Chinese defense industry. In 2012 Thailand ordered 4 of these artillery rocket systems, which were delivered in 2013. The SR-4 has two pods with 20 tubes each. It fires 122 mm artillery rockets.

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Rocket launcher system for DTI-2 122mm rockets mounted on Chinese-made Type 85/YW 306 MLRS delivered to the Thai artillery (Picture source: DTI)

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Test-fire of DTI-2 122mm rockets from an SR4 Multiple Launch Rocket System (Picture source: DTI)



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