|Type||Multiple rocket launcher|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||See Operators|
|Wars|| Sino-Soviet border conflict |
Lebanese Civil War
Western Sahara War
Angolan Civil War
Somali Civil War
South African Border War
Second Sudanese Civil War
First Nagorno-Karabakh War
First Chechen War
1995 Cenepa War
1999 Kargil War
Second Chechen War
Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel
Cambodian–Thai border dispute
Libyan Civil War (2011)
Syrian Civil War
Northern Mali conflict
War in Donbas
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war
|Designer||Splav State Research and Production Enterprise|
|Manufacturer||Splav State Research and Production Enterprise|
|Mass||13.71 tonnes (30,225 lb)|
|Length||7.35 m (24 ft 1 in)|
|Barrel length||3.0 m (9 ft 10 in)|
|Width||2.40 m (7 ft 10 in)|
|Height||3.09 m (10 ft 2 in)|
|Rate of fire||2 rounds/s|
|Muzzle velocity||690 m/s (2,264 ft/s)|
|Maximum firing range||20 km (12 mi) (new rockets 30–45 km)|
|Sights||PG-1M panoramic telescope|
|Engine||V-8 gasoline ZiL-375|
180 hp (130 kW)
|405 km (251 mi)|
|Maximum speed||75 km/h (47 mph)|
The BM-21 "Grad" (Russian : БМ-21 "Град", lit. ' hail ') is a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher. The weapons system and the M-21OF rocket were first developed in the early 1960s, and saw their first combat use in March 1969 during the Sino-Soviet border conflict. BM stands for boyevaya mashina (Russian : боевая машина – combat vehicle), and the nickname grad means "hail". The complete system with the BM-21 launch vehicle and the M-21OF rocket is designated[ by whom? ] as the M-21 field-rocket system. The complete system is more commonly known as a Grad multiple rocket launcher system. In NATO countries the system (either the complete system or the launch vehicle only) was initially known as M1964. Several other countries have copied the Grad or have developed similar systems.
The M-21 field rocket system with a BM-21 launch vehicle (122 mm multiple rocket launcher (MRL) system) entered service with the Soviet Army in 1963 to replace the aging 140 mm BM-14 system. The launch vehicle consists of a Ural-375D six-by-six truck chassis fitted with a bank of 40 launch tubes arranged in a rectangular shape that can be turned away from the unprotected cab. The vehicle is powered by a water-cooled V-8 180 hp gasoline engine, has a maximum road speed of 75 km/h (47 mph), road range of up to 750 kilometers (470 mi), and can cross fords up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) deep. The original vehicle together with supporting equipment (including the re-supply truck 9T254 with 60 rockets) is referred to by the GRAU index "9K51"; the launcher itself has the industrial index of "2B5". In 1976, the BM-21 was mounted on the newer Ural-4320 six-by-six army truck.
The three-member crew can emplace the system and have it ready to fire in three minutes. The crew can fire the rockets from the cab or from a trigger at the end of a 64-meter (210 ft) cable. All 40 rockets can be away in as little as 20 seconds, but can also be fired individually or in small groups in several-second intervals. A PG-1M panoramic telescope with K-1 collimator can be used for sighting. The BM-21 can be packed up and ready to move in two minutes, which can be necessary when engaged by counter-battery fire. Reloading is done manually and takes about 10 minutes.
Each 2.87-meter (9 ft 5 in) rocket is slowly spun by rifling in its tube as it exits, which along with its primary fin stabilization keeps it on course. Rockets armed with high explosive-fragmentation, incendiary, or chemical warheads can be fired 20 kilometers (12 mi). Newer high explosive and cargo (used to deliver anti-personnel or antitank mines) rockets have a range of 30 kilometers (19 mi) and more. Warheads weigh around 20 kilograms (44 lb), depending on the type.
The number of rockets that each vehicle is able to quickly bring to bear on an enemy target makes it effective, especially at shorter ranges. One battalion of eighteen launchers is able to deliver 720 rockets in a single volley. The system has lower precision than gun artillery and cannot be used in situations that call for pinpoint accuracy. It relies on a large number of shells dissipating over an area for a certain hit rate on specific targets. Nonetheless, because of the short warning time for the impact of the whole volley, the BM-21 is still considered an effective weapon.
Adaptations of the launcher were/are produced by several countries including China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Poland and Romania.
The Egyptians domestically manufacture the rockets Sakr-18 and Sakr-36, with a respective range of 18 km (11 mi) and 36 km (22 mi), and the latest Sakr-45 with a superior range of 45 km (28 mi). Rather than a standard HE-Frag round, the Egyptian military prefers a 23-kilogram (51 lb) cluster munition, which can be extremely effective against lightly armored equipment and troop concentrations. Both rockets, as well as the original Soviet models of course, are fired by locally manufactured rocket launchers like the RL-21 (copy of BM-11) and RC-21 (copy of BM-21, similar to the Hadid HM20). The Helwan Machine Tools Company also produces portable systems with one, three, four and eight launch tubes.
Since 2006 Hamas has fired 122 mm Grad rockets, copies made in Iran, and Eastern-bloc versions modified to expand their range into Israel. The rockets were believed to be brought into the Gaza Strip via tunnels from Egypt. Some of the rockets were of a Chinese Grad variant. Hamas sources said they were pleased by the performance of the Chinese variants of the BM-21 Grad rocket, which demonstrated a far greater range and blast impact than Palestinian-made rockets, as well as Russian-origin Grads or Katyushas.
Hamas have used small man-portable single-tube launchers for rockets in attacks against Israel, designated 122 mm 9P132/BM-21-P. The 122 mm Grad rockets used in Gaza have a range of about 40 km (25 mi), and can reach the Israeli towns of Ashdod, Beer-Sheva, Ofakim, Gedera, Kiryat Gat, Ashqelon, Sderot, Rehovot, Kiryat Malachi and Gan Yavne. They also published a clip claiming device mounted used as a multi-barrel rocket launcher on vehicle used for first time in Gaza. On 7 April 2011, the Iron Dome system successfully intercepted a Grad rocket launched from Gaza for the first time. The rockets were launched without their dedicated platforms and by untrained operators which causes very low accuracy. Over 50% of the rockets miss entire cities and over 10% end up hitting the sea.
The Homicho Ammunition Engineering Complex produces the rockets while the Bishoftu Motorization Engineering Complex produces the launching tubes and has converted existing trucks to diesel engine. Bishoftu motorization has also produced a six tube launcher to be mounted on light trucks.
D.I.O. from Iran produces copies of the BM-11 and BM-21 systems that can fire the original Soviet rockets as well as the locally developed "Arash" with a range of 20.5 km (12.7 mi). There is also a rocket with a range of 75 km (47 mi).
Various 122mm-type rockets were deployed by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, modified to deliver nerve agents to targets. This included the 40-inch long, domestically produced Grad MLRS-compatible "Borak" warhead designed to disperse sarin gas.
The original "GRAD" rocket has a range of about 20 kilometers (12 mi). The first modification called "G-M" increased the range to about 27.5 kilometers (17.1 mi), while the second modification "G-2000" further increased the range to about 40 kilometers (25 mi). The latest technology development has allowed new Grad rockets to have 52 km range. The range may also vary due to the type of warhead.
|Origin||Ammunition type||Minimum range||Maximum range||Length||Weight||Warhead weight|
|9M22U (M-21OF)||USSR/Russia||Fragmentation-HE||5,000||3.1||20,380||12.66||2.87||9 ft 5 in||66.6||147||18.4||41|
|9M28F||USSR/Russia||Fragmentation-HE||1,500||0.93||15,000||9.3||2.27||7 ft 5 in||56.5||125||21.0||46.3|
|9M28K||USSR/Russia||Anti-tank mines||13,400||8.3||3.04||10 ft 0 in||57.7||127||22.8||50|
|9M43||USSR/Russia||Smoke||20,000||12||2.95||9 ft 8 in||66||146||20.2||45|
|9M217||USSR/Russia||Anti-tank submunitions||30,000||19||3.04||10 ft 0 in||70||150||25||55|
|9M218||USSR/Russia||HEAT submunitions||30,000||19||3.04||10 ft 0 in||70||150||25||55|
|9M519||USSR/Russia||RF jammer||18,500||11.5||3.04||10 ft 0 in||66||146||18.4||41|
|9M521||USSR/Russia||Fragmentation-HE||40,000||25||2.87||9 ft 5 in||66||146||21||46|
|9M522||USSR/Russia||Fragmentation-HE||37,500||23.3||3.04||10 ft 0 in||70||150||25||55|
|PRC-60||USSR/Russia||Underwater charge (for BM-21PD)||300||0.19||5,000||3.1||2.75||9 ft 0 in||75.3||166||20||44|
|Type 90A||China||Fragmentation-HE||12,700||7.9||32,700||20.3||2.75||9 ft 0 in||18.3||40|
|M21-OF-FP||Romania||Fragmentation-HE||5,000–6,000||3.1–3.7||20,400||12.7||2.87||9 ft 5 in||65.4||144||6.35||14.0|
|M21-OF-S||Romania||Fragmentation-HE||1,000||0.62||12,700||7.9||1.927||6 ft 3.9 in||46.6||103||6.35||14.0|
|Edepro G2000/52||Serbia||Fragmentation-HE||52,000||32||2.862||9 ft 4.7 in||64.4||142||19.0||41.9|
|Sakr-45A||Egypt||AT / AP submunitions||42,000||26||3.310||10 ft 10.3 in||67.5||149||24.5||54|
|Sakr-45B||Egypt||Fragmentation-HE||45,000||28||2.900||9 ft 6.2 in||63.5||140||20.5||45|
Also Incendiary, Chemical, Illumination, Antipersonnel mines.
The Katyusha multiple rocket launcher is a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Multiple rocket launchers such as these deliver explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive, easy to produce, and usable on any chassis. The Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union, were usually mounted on ordinary trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha, and other self-propelled artillery, another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.
The BM-27 Uragan is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher system designed in the Soviet Union. It began its service with the Soviet Army in the late 1970s, and was its first modern spin and fin stabilized heavy multiple rocket launcher.
The RM-70 multiple rocket launcher is a Czechoslovak army version and heavier variant of the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, providing enhanced performance over its parent area-saturation rocket artillery system that was introduced in 1971.
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The M-77 Oganj is a 128mm self-propelled multiple rocket launcher developed in the former Yugoslavia. NATO designation is the YMRL-32
The old M-63 Plamen is a 128mm multiple rocket launcher developed in 1963 in Yugoslavia for use in the Yugoslav People's Army.
The LAROM is a Romanian native-made, highly mobile, multiple rocket launcher, attached to a DAC-25.360 6x6 truck, in service with the Romanian Land Forces, built in collaboration with Israel. Currently there are 54 systems in service, all operated by the 8th Mixed Artillery Brigade. Most likely it was influenced by the BM-21 Grad 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (MRL) system which entered service with the Soviet Army in 1963 also utilizing a six-by-six truck chassis fitted with a bank of 40 122mm launch tubes arranged in a rectangular shape that can be turned away from the unprotected cabin.
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The BM-24 is a multiple rocket launcher designed in the Soviet Union. It is capable of launching 240mm rockets from 12 launch tubes. Versions of the BM-24 have been mounted on the ZIL-151 6×6 Truck chassis and the AT-S tracked artillery tractor, forming the BM-24T from the latter. Production began out of Automotive Factory no. 2 in 1947 Moscow. Israel operated one battalion, consisting of vehicles captured from Egypt in the Six-Day War. The battalion took part in the Yom Kippur War and the 1982 Lebanon War.
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The RS-122 is a Georgian mobile multiple rocket launcher firing 122 mm rockets. It was developed in 2011 and put on production display in February 2012. The RS-122 is a heavily modified version of the Soviet BM-21 Grad. Its main characteristics are the armoured crew cabin, improved firing, operational range and accuracy. The vehicle was developed by the state-owned Scientific Technical Centre Delta.
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The Polonez Multiple Launch Rocket System is a Belarusian 300 mm rocket artillery system of a launcher unit comprising 8 rockets packaged in two four-rocket pods mounted on a MZKT-7930 vehicle. In 2018, it was exported to Azerbaijan. The system was designed by the Belarusian Plant of Precision Electromechanics in cooperation with a foreign country, probably China. The first combat missile launches were carried out in China. The 77th Separate Rocket Artillery Battalion of the 336th Rocket Artillery Brigade of the Belarusian Ground Forces is equipped with it. An upgraded version called Polonez-M passed all trials and has been accepted into service by the Belarusian Ground Forces as of May 2019. Polonez-M has an increased range of 290 km, a higher share of domestic components and can fire the improved A-300 missile.
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The most significant [Soviet rocket] was the 9M22M, one of the Katyusha class of 122-mm rockets.
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