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  • Writer's pictureMuhammed Said Bilal Dolar

All About Weishi 1 MLRS

In this article, I will talk about Chinese MRLS WS-1 (Weishi 1). Weishi 1 was developed by SCAIC (Sichuan Aerospace Industry Corporation) in the late 1980s. The rocket system was equipped with 4 rocket launchers and based on Mercedes-Benz 6x6 truck. Rocket has a diameter of 302 mm, making it large-caliber MLRS. Characteristics of this system vary from one source to another source, so I used the Russian Wikipedia article about WS-1 as a source.



Characteristics

  • Diameter: 302 mm

  • Length: 4.7 m

  • Rocket Weight: 524 kg(about 1155 pounds)

  • Warhead Weight: 150 kg(330 pounds)

  • Firing Range

WS-1: 40-100 km

WS-1B: 60-180 km

  • Maximum Cruise Speed

WS-1: 4.2 mach

WS-1B: 5.2 mach


As you can see, the features of this rocket aren't bad; indeed, they are superior to other systems. However, the Chinese government wasn't interested at all, so WS-1 was canceled. But SCAIC didn't stop; they continued their work, releasing WS-1B for the foreign market. By continuing works on WS-1, they weren't wrong; contracts were officially made with Turkey, Thailand, and Sudan. Today, we can also see similar models in other countries like Syria (Khaibar-1) and Palestine (M302, R160).

Anyways, let's talk about Turkey. Turkey made a contract with CPMIEC (China National Precision Machinery Corporation) to get a license to produce and modify. Turkey named their system Kasirga (unguided) and Kaplan (guided). Kasirga was based on WS-1B; while, Kaplan was based on WS-1b's Turkish modified version: K+. Turkey also made contracts with Bangladesh and Azerbaijan.


Turkish Kasırga MLRS system
Turkish Kasirga MLRS system

In previous paragraphs, I mentioned that 'But, today we can see similar models in another countries like Syria (Khaibar-1) and Palestine(M302, R160).' Let's talk about this occasion. Firstly, some sources say that Khaibar-1 and M302 (R160) are copies of Fajr-5 or Fajr-3. The differences between Fajr series and Khaibar-1 are that Fajr uses spin-stabilized rockets whereas Khaibar-1 hasn't this stabilization technology. Actually, the engine is one of the rocket's prominent components. So, from the previous sentence's conclusion, we can understand that it isn't a copy of the Fajr series.


Picture shows spin-stabilized Fajr-5 rocket

Also, there are exhaust gases shape differences between the Fajr series and Khaibar-1, which depend on the nozzle type. Below I showed exhaust gases' sshape difference with blue line.



WS-1 series has bell-like exhaust gas shape; whereas Fajr-5 has more linear exhaust gas shape and space, caused by spin engines.


Another difference is in diameter of the rockets. Basically, when engineers change the diameter of a rocket, the aerodynamic features of the rocket change automatically. This was the second difference. You might ask,'Okay, so why do you think that Khaibar-1 is copy of WS-1 missile.' Well, there are some reasons for this speculation. Reason 1 - the length. If we compare both rockets, we can see that the lengths are the same: 6.3 meters. Reason 2 - the range. WS-1B and Khaibar-1 have a similar range, about 160km (WS-1B has range about 180km, but it doesn't mean that they are different. My opinion about this deviation is that it caused by the differences between Syria and China in professional manufacturing process.). Reason 3 - fins are simmilar to WS-1B, and some versions have similarity with WS-1. Below this passage, there are images where I emphasized by red lines the similarities.



Reason 4 - Similarity in launch system. WS-1 and Khaibar-1 use a rail launch system (for extra information, Fajr series use tube launch). Official licensed copies of the WS-1 series look like use tube launch, but they have these tubes to protect munitions. In the images below, I emphasized with red the rail launch system's part, which shows the system's recognizable feature: Rail.



To be short, I've presented all the factors that suggest Khaibar-1 is a Chinese WS-1's licensed or non-licensed copy. About effectiveness, I can say that it performs well, despite its poor accuracy and manufacturing. All images that I find and didn't use at this article, I've gave below.



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