Brazilian Army Artillery Command ASTROS II Multiple Rocket Launcher System (MLRS) has conducted firing tests with the new upgraded SS-60 300 mm rockets. The SS-60 rocket can be loaded with four rounds a launcher and has a range between 60 km (40 mi). The upgraded SS-60 rocket is developed by the Brazilian armed forces as part of the ASTROS 2020 (MK6) program. The Astros 2020 will be equipped with a 180 mm GPS-guided rocket called the SS-AV-40G with a range of 40 km (25 mi) and SS-150 newly developed rockets with a claimed maximum range of 150 km. The ASTROS 2020 also will be integrated with the cruise missile AVMT-300 with 300-km range.
The ASTROS 2020 offers several basic improvements including an improved armored cabin, modern digital communications and navigation systems, and a new tracking radar that replaces the AV-UCF’s Contraves Fieldguard system. The new tracking radar used by MK6 AV-UCF was latter revealed to be the Fieldguard 3 Military Measurement System from Rheinmetall Air Defence. The new MK6 system will use Tatra Trucks’ T815-790R39 6×6 and T815-7A0R59 4×4 trucks instead of the original Tectran VBT-2028 (Mercedes-Benz 2028A) 6×6 truck. it will require an estimated investment of $210 million will be invested solely in development. 36 Astros 2020 systems are to be acquired.
ASTROS II (Artillery Saturation Rocket System) is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher produced in Brazil by the Avibras company. It features modular design and employs rockets with calibers ranging from 127 mm to 450 mm. A full ASTROS system includes 1 wheeled 4×4 Battery-level Command vehicle (AV-PCC), 1 wheeled 6×6 Radar Fire Control vehicle (AV-UCF), 6 wheeled 6×6 Universal Multiple Rocket, Launchers vehicle (AV-LMU), 6 wheeled 6×6 Ammunition Resupply vehicles (AV-RMD), 1 wheeled 6×6 Field repair/workshop vehicle (AV-OFVE) and 1 wheeled 4×4 Mobile Weather Station vehicle(AV-MET).
The command vehicles and weather stations are recent additions, designed to improve overall system performance on newer versions. All vehicles are transportable in a C-130 Hercules. The launcher is capable of firing rockets or missile of different calibers (127mm, 180mm and 300 mm) armed with a range of warheads. Avibras has developed a tactical missile for launch from ASTROS II. The autonomously-guided Astros TM will have a range of 300km and can be fitted with a variety of warheads. Avibras also has developed a fiber optic guided multi-purpose missile (anti-tank, anti-fortification and anti-helicopter missile).