BM-30 Smerch

Last updated
BM-30 Smerch
RSZO Smertch.jpg
9A52-2 "Smerch" launch vehicle
Type Multiple rocket launcher
Place of origin Soviet Union, Russia
Service history
In service1989–present
Used bySee Operators
Wars Second Chechen War
War in Donbas
Syrian Civil War [1]
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war
Production history
Designer Splav State Research and Production Enterprise
Designed1980s
Manufacturer Splav State Research and Production Enterprise
Produced1989–present
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications
Mass43.7 t
Length12 m (39 ft 4 in)
Width3.05 m (10 ft)
Height3.05 m (10 ft)
Crew3

Caliber 300 mm (12 in)
Barrels12
Maximum firing range90 km (56 mi)

Main
armament
9M55 or 9M528 rockets
EngineD12A-525A V12 diesel engine
525 hp (391 kW)
Suspension8×8 wheeled
Operational
range
850 km (530 mi)
Maximum speed 60 km/h (37 mph)
9K58 <<Smerch>> in Saint-Petersburg Artillery museum 9a52 smerch.jpg
9K58 «Smerch» in Saint-Petersburg Artillery museum
9T234-2 transporter-loader of 9K58 Army2016demo-068.jpg
9T234-2 transporter-loader of 9K58
9A52-2 launch vehicle of 9K58 / BM-30 Smerch MLRS Army2016demo-065.jpg
9A52-2 launch vehicle of 9K58 / BM-30 Smerch MLRS
9K58 Smerch (IDELF-2008 - Ministry of Defence of Russia exposition) 9K58 Smerch 3.jpg
9K58 Smerch (IDELF-2008 - Ministry of Defence of Russia exposition)

The BM-30 Smerch (Russian:Смерч, "tornado", "whirlwind"), 9K58 Smerch or 9A52-2 Smerch-M is a Soviet heavy multiple rocket launcher. The system is intended to defeat personnel, armored, and soft targets in concentration areas, artillery batteries, command posts and ammunition depots. It was designed in the early 1980s and entered service in the Soviet Army in 1989. [2] When first observed by the West in 1983, it received the code MRL 280mm M1983. It continued in use by Russia; a program to replace it by the 9A52-4 Tornado was launched in 2018. [3]

Contents

Operational history

The first confirmed combat uses of the Smerch were in two war zones in 2014. Syrian military forces used the system against rebel forces during the Syrian civil war, including in fighting in Jobar. [4] It was also used by Russia-backed militants to deliver explosive and cluster munitions to Ukrainian military positions and by the Ukrainian Army against populated areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the War in Donbas. [5] [6] Several have been seen in use by pro-Russian rebels. [7] [8] The Russian Ground Forces used the BM-30 in Syria in October 2015 during the Russian intervention in Syria. [9]

During the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia and Azerbaijan both targeted the other country's territory with Smerch rockets. [10] A number of Armenian Smerch rocket launchers were destroyed by Azerbaijani Harop loitering munitions and Bayraktar TB2 armed drones. [11]

Components

The main components of the RSZO 9K58 "Smerch" system are the following:

The 300mm rockets with a firing range of 70 and 90 km and various warheads have been developed for the Smerch MLRS.

The 9A52-2 vehicle with the automated system ensures:

General characteristics

Salvo Time: 12 rounds in 38 seconds

Rocket projectiles

VariantRocketWarheadSelf-destruct timeRange
NameTypeWeightLengthWeightSubmunitionMin.Max.
9M55K Cluster munition, anti-personnel800 kg7.6 m243 kg72 × 1.75 kg, each with 96 fragments (4.5g each)110 sec20km70km
9M55K1Cluster munition, self-guided anti-tank243 kg5 × 15 kg
9M55K4Cluster munition, AT minelets.243 kg25 × 5 kg mines24 hour
9M55K5 HEAT/HE-Fragmentation.243 kg646 × 0.25 kg (up to 120 mm RHA armor-piercing)260 sec
9M55Fseparable HE-Fragmentation258 kg
9M55C Thermobaric 243 kg
9M528HE-Fragmentation815 kg243 kg25km90km

Variants

Indian BM-30 Smerch launchers on Indian built Tatra 816 trucks during a military parade Smerch 30MM hemant rawat (11).jpg
Indian BM-30 Smerch launchers on Indian built Tatra 816 trucks during a military parade

Operators

Map of BM-30 operators in blue with former operators in red BM-30 operators.png
Map of BM-30 operators in blue with former operators in red
Ukrainian BM-30 Smerch launchers during a military parade BM-30 Smerch parade.jpg
Ukrainian BM-30 Smerch launchers during a military parade
Kuwaiti BM-30 Smerch launchers during a military parade in Kuwait Kuwait BM-30 Smerch launchers, 2011.jpg
Kuwaiti BM-30 Smerch launchers during a military parade in Kuwait
Armenian BM-30 Smerch launchers during a military parade in Yerevan, 2016 Bm-30.jpg
Armenian BM-30 Smerch launchers during a military parade in Yerevan, 2016

Current operators

Former operators

Similar systems

PHL-03 heavy multiple rocket launcher. PHL-03 heavy multiple rocket launcher.jpg
PHL-03 heavy multiple rocket launcher.

See also

BM-30 Smerch with projectile as a monument to A.N. Ganichev in Tula city BM-30 Smerch MLRS.jpg
BM-30 Smerch with projectile as a monument to A.N. Ganichev in Tula city

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References

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg 300mm Smerch Multiple Rocket Launcher:
0:48 - Cluster - fragmentation
1:30 - Separable HE-Frag warhead
2:00 - Cluster - self-guided EFP (AT) elements
3:00 - Cluster - anti-tank mines
3:30 - Cluster - shaped charge/frag elements
3:50 - Unmanned aerial vehicle
5:20 - Thermobaric warhead
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Bibliography