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To meet demand of international satellite launch market, especially for high power and heavy communications satellites, the development of LM-3B launch vehicle was started in 1986 on the basis of the fight proven technology of Long March launch vehicles.

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LM-3B Structure
1. Payload Faring
2. Payload
3. Payload Adapter
4. Vehicle Equipment Bay
5. LH2 Tank
6. LOX Tank
7. Inter-stage Section
8. Third Stage Engine
9. Oxidizer Tank
10. Inter-tank Section
11. Fuel Tank
12. Second Stage Vernier Engine
13. Second Stage Main Engine
14. Inter-stage Truss
15. Oxidizer Tank
16. Fuel Tank
17. First Stage Engine
18. Strap-on Booster Cone
19. Strap-on Booster Oxidizer Tank
20. Strap-on Booster Fuel Tank
21. Stabilizer
22. Strap-on Booster Engine

Technical Data

LM-3B is the most powerful launch vehicle in Long March fleet based on LM- 3A as its core stage with four liquid boosters strapped on the frst stage. The development of LM-3B has been made upon good heritage of mature and flight proven technology of Long March family of launch vehicles. Its GTO capacity is 5,100kg.

In recent years, the LM-3B/E (Enhanced Version) launch vehicle is developed on the basis of LM-3B, increasing the GTO capacity up to 5,500kg. LM-3B/E has nearly the same configurations with LM-3B except its enlarged core stage and boosters. On May 14, 2007, the flight of LM-3B/E was performed successfully, accurately sending the NigcomSat-1 into pre-determined orbit.

With the GTO launch capability of 5,500kg, LM-3B/E is dedicated for launching heavy GEO communications satellite.

Stage Booster 1st Stage 2nd Stage 3rd Stage
Stage Diameter (m) 2.25 3.35 3.35 3.00
Stage Length (m) 15.326
9.943 12.375
Mass of Propellants (t) 37.746x4 171.775 49.605 18.193
41.5x4* 186.6*
Propellant N2O4/UDMH LOX/LH2
Engine YF-25 YF-21C YF-24E
YF-22E (Main)
YF-23C (Vernier)
Engine Thrust (KN) 740.4x4 2961.6 742 (Main)
11.8x4 (Vernier)
Engine Specific Impulse
2556.2 2556.2 2922.57 (Main)
2910.5 (Vernier)
Booster 4
Lift-off Mass (t) 426/458.97*
Overall Length (m) 54.838/56.326*
Fairing Diameter (m) 4.00/4.20
Fairing Length (m) 9.56
GTO Launch Capacity (kg) 5100/5500*