Vietnam may be trying to move away from depending on Russia for most of its arms purchases, but Russian defence contractors are confident they can expand their considerable footpring in the country and the region.
A group of Russian firms have developed a lightweight variant of the Smerch 300 mm Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and is keen on exploring its potential for export into the region. The system, which utilises the 9A52-4 launcher and a Kamaz 63501 vehicle, has been in the works for a significant amount of time.
The lightweight variant, which is ideal for challenging terrains such as those found across Southeast Asia, is likely to prove popular because of existing regional tensions and the prevailing need for more easily deployable MLRS.
The BM-30 Smerch 9A52, designed and manufactured by the Russian Company Splav State Research and Production Association, entered the Russian army in 1987. A Smerch unit is typically composed of six launchers and six transloaders.
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