Norino (China North Industries Corporation) is a state-owned enterprise group engaged in military production and a range of other activities.[i]
In 2011, research at IDEX (International Defence Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi) by Handicap International and Facing Finance found evidence that Norinco advertised Type 90B 122 mm and W-120 273 mm cluster munition rockets for its Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).[ii]
In 2009, Norinco presented the AR1-A MLRS at the IDEX arms fair.[iii] AR1-A can launch different rockets: BRC3 with cluster warhead with 623 submunitions, BRC4 of a similar type but with extended range, and BRE2 fitted with a conventional unitary high-explosive warhead.[iv]
Norinco also produces the AR3 MLRS.[v] It can use two pods of rockets, each of which can contain four 370 mm or five 300 mm rockets.[vi] Various 300-mm rockets with different warheads are compatible, including cluster warheads with self-targeting antitank munitions.[vii]
At IDEX 2015, Norinco also displayed its Fire Dragon guided munitions for MRLS, featuring 300 mm and 370 mm rockets. While Norinco did not reveal the warhead options, these could reflect those of the unguided munitions, which includes cargo warheads capable of carrying dual-purpose anti-personnel/anti-tank bomblets.[viii]
In Jane’s Air Launched Weapons 2018-2019, Norinco is listed as the producer of the 250kg Combined Effects Bomb containing 147 combined effects bomblets, and a cluster bomb derived from the Combined Effects Bomb. This cluster bomb is designed to be air-launched and to open at a pre-set altitude. In addition, according to Jane’s, Norinco also produces the 340kg anti-tank cluster bomb which contains 189 armour piercing submunitions and an anti-runway cluster bomb, with 16 armour-piercing submunitions of 4.5kg each.[ix] Jane’s Weapons Ammunition 2018-2019 also mentions the production of the Norinco 152mm type 66 ammunition, which has 63 bomblets and the Norinco 130 mm type 50, that has 35 bomblets.[x]
Norinco (China North Industries Corporation) is considered a cluster munitions producer because there is evidence that the company has advertised and produced many types of cluster munitions after May 2008, amongst which are the Type 90B cluster munition rocket, the Fire Dragon and the Combined Effects Bomb.
Norinco has not refuted this information, has not responded to PAX’ requests for more information and has not stated publicly that it would stop producing cluster munitions.
[i] Norinco Group, “Brief of NORINCO GROUP”, Norinco Group website (en.norincogroup.com.cn/col/col432/index.html), last viewed 26 March 2018.
[ii] Handicap International and Facing Finance, “Streubomben: Die “heimlichen” Hersteller” (“Cluster bombs: the “secret” manufacturers”), May 2011, available at www.landmine.de/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/Broschuere%20Produktion%20SM%202011-1.pdf, last viewed 26 March 2018.
[iii] Army Recognition, “AR1A MRLS Multiple rocket launcher system”, Army Recognition website (www.armyrecognition.com/china_artillery_vehicles_and_weapon_systems_uk/ar1a_300mm_mrls_multiple_rocket_launcher_system_data_sheet_specifications_information_description_uk.html), last viewed 26 March 2018.
[iv] Jane’s: Eurosatory 2010, “Wide range of weapons from NORINCO”, 16 June 2010; VPK, “The Chinese company Norinco offers MLRS AR2 and AR3 on the world market”, 4 August 2010 (in Russian) (vpk.name/news/42674_kitaiskaya_kompaniya_norinco_predlagaet_na_mirovoi_ryinok_rszo_ar2_i_ar3.html), last viewed 27 March 2018; Defense Updates, “Chinese 300 mm PHL03 / PHL96 / AR1 / AR1A / AR2 / AR3 MLRS”, 5 February 2013, Defense Updates website (defenseupdates.blogspot.nl/2013/02/chinese-300-mm-phl03-phl96-ar1-ar1a-ar2.html), last viewed 26 March 2018.
[v] Military Today, “AR3 Multiple Launch Rocket System”, Military Today website (www.military-today.com/artillery/ar3.htm), last viewed 26 March 2018; Foss, C.F., “IDEX 2015: Christopher Foss talks about the NORINCO AR3 Multiple Artillery Rocket System” IHS Jane’s 360 website, last viewed 30 December 2016, also the Norinco company catalogue on file in Omega archive, references the AR3.
[vi] Binnie, J., “IDEX 2015: Chinese companies expand guided rocket options”, IHS Jane’s 360, 23 February 2015, last viewed 22 January 2016.
[vii] Military Today, “AR3 Multiple Launch Rocket System”, Military Today website (www.military-today.com/artillery/ar3.htm), last viewed 26 March 2018; Foss, C.F., “IDEX 2015: Christopher Foss talks about the NORINCO AR3 Multiple Artillery Rocket System”, IHS Jane’s 360 website, last viewed 30 December 2016.
[viii] Binnie, J., “IDEX 2015: Chinese companies expand guided rocket options”, 23 February 2015, IHS Jane’s 360 website, last viewed 22 January 2016, IDEX 2015 Catalogue on file with PAX and in the Omega Research Foundation archive.
[ix] Rahul Udoshi (ed.) IHS Jane’s Air launched weapons 2018-2019, IHS: Coulsdon, United Kingdom, 2018
[x] Anthony Williams and Jayesh Dingra (eds.), IHS Jane’s Weapons: Ammunition 2018-2019, Coulsdon, United Kingdom