SOFEX 2016

More firepower from Belarus [SOFEX16D3]

12 May 2016

The Republic of Belarus had developed and placed in production an upgrade package for the widely deployed Russian BM-21A 122mm (40-round) artillery rocket system (ARS).

This upgrade package is now being offered on the export market by No 2566 Radioelectronic Armament Repair Plant located in Borisov.

The original BM-21 122mm (40-round) ARS is based on an Ural-375 (6x6) cross-country truck chassis, on the rear of which is fitted the turntable launcher with 40 x 122mm unguided rockets in the ready-to-launch position.

The upgraded system from Ukraine is designated the BM-21A “BelGrad” and is installed on the more recent MAZ-631705 (6x6) cross-country chassis with an unprotected two-door forward control cab. This is powered by a diesel engine developing 330hp that gives the system not only an increase in road speed to 85km/h but also an operating range that is increased from 780km to 1,200km.

In addition to the 40 x 122mm rockets in the ready-to-launch position, a further 60 x 122mm rockets in two racks of 30 are carried to the rear of the cab for manual reloading. To provide a more stable firing platform, two hydraulic stabilisers are lowered to the ground, one either side at the rear of the chassis.

The maximum range of the unguided 122mm rocket is being quoted as 20,500m, although some contractors market 122mm rockets with a longer range.

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