RS-82 (rocket family)

Last updated

RS-82 and RS-132 (Reaktivny Snaryad; Russian: Реактивный Снаряд; rocket-powered projectile) were unguided rockets used by Soviet military aircraft in World War II.



Design work on RS-82 and RS-132 rockets began in the early 1930s, by a team led by Georgy Langemak, and including Vladimir Artemiev, Boris Petropavlovsky, Yuriy Pobedonostsev, and others. The 82 mm (3.2 in) and 132 mm (5.2 in) diameters were chosen because the standard smokeless gunpowder charge used at the time was 24 mm (0.94 in) in diameter and seven of these charges fitted into an 82 mm cylinder. First test-firing was done in November 1929. In 1937, aerodynamically efficient RO-82 rail launchers were designed for mounting these weapons on aircraft.

Operational history

RS-82 Raketnye snariady RS-82.jpg

Following the pioneering use of Le Prieur rockets in the use of air-launched rocket armament in World War I, done since 1916 on the Western Front, and that had been first done for the Central Powers in WW I by Rudolf Nebel from Halberstadt D.II biplanes of the Luftstreitkräfte during the first half of 1916, the earliest known use by the Soviet Air Force of aircraft-launched unguided anti-aircraft rockets in combat against heavier-than-air aircraft took place in August 1939, during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. A group of Polikarpov I-16 fighters under command of Captain N. Zvonarev were using RS-82 rockets against Japanese aircraft, shooting down 16 fighters and 3 bombers in total. [1] Six Tupolev SB bombers also used RS-132 for ground attack during the Winter War. RS-82 officially entered service in 1937 and RS-132 in 1938.

Like most unguided rockets, RS suffered from poor accuracy. Early testing demonstrated that, when fired from 500 m (1,640 ft), a mere 1.1% of 186 fired RS-82 hit a single tank and 3.7% hit a column of tanks. RS-132 accuracy was even worse, with no hits scored in 134 firings during one test. Combat accuracy was even worse, since the rockets were typically fired from even greater distances. To further complicate the matters, RS-82 required a direct hit to disable light German armor, with near-misses causing no damage. RS-132 could defeat medium German armor with a direct hit but caused almost no damage to light or medium armor with a near-miss. Best results were usually attained when firing in salvos against large ground targets.

Almost every Soviet military aircraft of World War II was known to carry RS-82 and RS-132, often using field-made launchers. Some Ilyushin Il-2 were field-modified to carry up to 24 rockets although the added drag and the weight made this arrangement impractical.

RS-derived M-8 and M-13 rockets were used by the famous Katyusha rocket artillery.[ citation needed ]


Specifications (RS-82)

Specifications (RS-132)

See also

Related Research Articles

Katyusha rocket launcher Family of rocket artillery systems

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.

<i>Panzerfaust</i> Man-portable anti-tank recoilless gun

The Panzerfaust was an inexpensive, single shot, recoilless German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consisted of a small, disposable pre-loaded launch tube firing a high-explosive anti-tank warhead, and was intended to be operated by a single soldier. The Panzerfaust's direct ancestor was the similar, smaller-warhead Faustpatrone ordnance device. The Panzerfaust was in use from 1943 until the end of the war, continuing to see service outside of Germany for a number of years.

R4M Rocket

The R4M rocket, nicknamed the Hurricane due to its distinctive smoke trail when fired, was an anti-aircraft rocket. It was developed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II.

Ruhrstahl X-4 WWII guided missile developed by Nazi Germany

The Ruhrstahl Ru 344 X-4 or Ruhrstahl-Kramer RK 344 was a wire-guided air-to-air missile designed by Germany during World War II. The X-4 did not see operational service and thus was not proven in combat but inspired considerable post-war work around the world, and was the basis for the development of several ground-launched anti-tank missiles, including the Malkara.


The CRV7, short for "Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7", is a 2.75-inch (70 mm) folding-fin ground attack rocket produced by Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was introduced in the early 1970s as an upgraded version of the standard U.S. 2.75-inch air-to-ground rockets. It was the most powerful weapon of its class, the first with enough energy to penetrate standard Warsaw Pact aircraft hangars. The CRV7 remains one of the most powerful air-to-ground attack rockets to this day, and has slowly become the de facto standard for Western-aligned forces outside the United States.

K-5 (missile) Short-range air-to-air missile

The Kaliningrad K-5, also known as RS-1U or product ShM, was an early Soviet air-to-air missile.

General-purpose bomb Air dropped bomb used for multiple purposes

A general-purpose bomb is an air-dropped bomb intended as a compromise between blast damage, penetration, and fragmentation in explosive effect. They are designed to be effective against enemy troops, vehicles, and buildings.

S-24 rocket

The S-24 is a rocket weapon designed and used by the Soviet Air Force. It remains in use by the Russian Aerospace Forces The name is based on the diameter of the rocket, 24 cm (9.4 in).

S-5 rocket

The S-5 is a rocket weapon developed by the Soviet Air Force and used by military aircraft against ground area targets. It is in service with the Russian Air Force and various export customers.

S-8 (rocket)

The S-8 is a rocket weapon developed by the Soviet Air Force for use by military aircraft. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force and various export customers.

Panzerfaust 3 Disposable Anti-tank rocket launcher Rocket-propelled grenade

The Panzerfaust 3 is a modern Semi-disposable recoilless anti-tank weapon, which was developed between 1978 and 1985 and put into service by the Bundeswehr in 1992. It was first ordered in 1973 to provide West German infantry with an effective weapon against contemporary Soviet armour, thereby replacing West Germany's aging PzF 44 Light Lanze launchers and the heavy Carl Gustaf 84 mm anti-tank recoilless rifle manufactured in Sweden.

RP-3 Unguided air-to-surface rocket

The RP-3 was a British rocket projectile used during and after the Second World War. Though primarily an air-to-ground weapon, it saw limited use in other roles. Its 60-pound (27 kg) warhead gave rise to the alternative name of the "60-pound rocket"; the 25-pound (11 kg) solid-shot armour-piercing variant was referred to as the "25-pound rocket". They were generally used by British fighter-bomber aircraft against targets such as tanks, trains, motor transport and buildings, and by Coastal Command and Royal Navy aircraft against U-boats and shipping. The "3 inch" designation referred to the diameter of the rocket motor tube.

Polikarpov ITP

The Polikarpov ITP was a Soviet fighter prototype designed during World War II. Development was prolonged by the evacuation of the design bureau forced by the German advance on Moscow in the fall of 1941. By the time the second prototype was finished the Soviets had fighters with equivalent or better performance already in production and the program was cancelled.

BM-27 Uragan Multiple rocket launcher

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.

BM-21 Grad Multiple launch rocket system family of Soviet origin

The BM-21 "Grad" 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, and the nickname grad means "hail". The complete system with the BM-21 launch vehicle and the M-21OF rocket is designated 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 was initially known as M1964. Several other countries have copied the Grad or have developed similar systems.

BM-14 Multiple rocket launcher

The BM-14, is a Soviet-made 140mm multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), normally mounted on a truck.

High Velocity Aircraft Rocket Air-to-surface rocket

The High Velocity Aircraft Rocket, or HVAR, also known by the nickname Holy Moses, was an American unguided rocket developed during World War II to attack targets on the ground from aircraft. It saw extensive use during both World War II and the Korean War.

Red Angel was an anti-ship rocket developed for the Royal Navy. The name was one of the British rainbow codes.

PHL-03 Multiple rocket launcher

The PHL-03 is a 12-tube 300 mm long-range multiple rocket launcher of the People's Republic of China. This is copied version of the Russian made BM-30 Smerch rocket artillery system. The main role for this multiple rocket launcher is to engage strategic targets such as large concentrations of troops, airfields, command centres, air defense batteries and support facilities. It is also used to engage in counter battery fire missions.

The BMD-20 was a 200 mm multiple rocket launcher (MRL) created by the Soviet Union.


  1. Maslov, Mikhail (2010). Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces. Osprey Publishing. p. 51. ISBN   1-84603-981-9.