Hello, my name is ROSY

Hello, my name is ROSY

  • Modernization
  • Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support
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What sounds like an elegant lady from the 1920s is actually a state-of-the-art self-protection system for Bundeswehr vehicles. The launcher is currently being tested at the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Weapons and Ammunition (WTD 91) in Meppen.

What sounds like an elegant lady from the 1920s is actually a state-of-the-art self-protection system for Bundeswehr vehicles. The launcher is currently being tested at the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Weapons and Ammunition (WTD 91) in Meppen.

Since its inception, the Bundeswehr has equipped nearly every combat vehicle with smoke grenade launchers. Soldiers and vehicles can hide from the enemy’s view behind the thick smoke. However, the old systems react sluggishly. Several seconds pass between ignition and buildup of the smoke screen. Seconds which might make the difference between life and death in combat. Furthermore, the old system drops the smoke grenades to the ground before the artificial cover is generated. With ROSY, the smoke screen builds up in the air shortly after ejection. The new smoke grenades also have a longer burn time because they contain a larger charge.

Protection for vehicles and crew

Therefore, WTD 91 is currently testing the integration of the ROSY smoke grenade launcher system in different vehicles. ROSY stands for “Rapid Obscuring System”.  ROSY generates an opaque red phosphorus screen within split seconds. 

The smoke screen can make any tank, never mind how big, disappear behind it. “In real life, you gain up to one minute in order to withdraw and actually disappear,” says the test manager at WTD 91. The system does not just hide the vehicle from the human eye, state-of-the-art technology such as infrared sensors cannot penetrate the smoke screen either. For smaller vehicles or space constraints, launcher modules with a reduced number of magazines are available.

A vehicle on a field, a smoke screen building up in front of it.

The smoke cartridges can be fired either on the move or from a stationary vehicle. Up to four launchers can be integrated in a vehicle.

Bundeswehr/WTD 91
A smoke screen building up on a field in front of trees

A launcher consists of up to three modules (magazines) with five rounds each

Bundeswehr/WTD 91

ROSY has a modular setup

The new system can be installed in modules. The current test vehicle, an armored palletized load system truck, is equipped with one launcher each on both sides. Two times five rounds each can be fired from the driver’s side and the passenger side. If the launcher’s control panel is activated, the system fires the round in the middle first. The surrounding smoke grenades are fired subsequently. “This is the quickest way of generating a smoke screen,” explains the WTD 91 employee.

Depending on the vehicle and its use, the modular launching systems can also be installed facing towards the front of the vehicle or facing backwards. This is particularly relevant for vehicles which are able to change direction quickly and operate on dangerous terrain outside of convoys. With the help of the quick fastenings, changes can be made rapidly.

All palletized load systems ordered will be equipped with ROSY

“The system tests are always special. WTD 91 tested the ammunition and the launchers separately beforehand. But when you test them together on the vehicle they are intended for, hidden faults become obvious,” says the test manager. “The vehicles and the smoke grenade launchers work excellently. There are merely some small details, such as the routing of electric cables or the material of the bolts used, that the manufacturer needs to improve.”

Different types of equipment installed on the roof of an olive truck

ROSY will be installed on the more than 500 recently procured palletized load system trucks. A double row launcher is installed next to weapon station sensors on the vehicle pictured here.


The 570 palletized load system trucks ordered so far will be equipped with the ROSY smoke grenade launcher system and delivered to the Bundeswehr from 2021 onwards. Further vehicles from Bundeswehr stocks and from the procurement process are also to be equipped with ROSY.

ROSY technical data

ManufacturerRheinmetall Defence
Ammunition caliber

40 x 280 mm

Full deployment of effectwithin approx. 1.5 s
Effective range

360° possible

Ammunition type10 rounds of phosphorus (5.4 kg)
Magazine weight

2.8 kg

Weight of 5 rounds

2.7 kg

Total weight of the one-row launcher (loaded)

10.6 kg

Total weight of the two-row launcher (loaded)

17.2 kg

Total weight of the three-row launcher (loaded)

24.0 kg

Weight of the manual control device

1.9 kg

Weight of the computer control device

3.9 kg

by Jennifer Frerichs

Pictures of the tests

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