The Russian armed forces will replace the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher (MRL) with the 9K51M Tornado-G, a military source told Jane's at the Army 2018 defence show being held close to Moscow on 21-26 August.
“The Western Military District and the Southern Military District [SMD] have already received the Tornado-G,” the source said. “The troops are also receiving the 1V198 C2 [command and control] post that is coupled to the Tornado-G, with an SMD artillery unit having received the first C2 vehicle of this type in early March,” he added.
The 2B17M Tornado-G MRL system is mounted on a Ural 4320 utility truck. Like the BM-21, it has 40 launch tubes for 122 mm rockets. The Tornado-G has a combat weight of up to 14,900 kg and a crew of three. The MRL system has received an automated fire control system.
Rostec's Tecmash concern told Jane's that it had developed more powerful rockets for the Tornado-G: the 9M538 and 9M539 with a high explosive fragmentation warhead, and the 9M541 warhead with high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) submunitions. The 9M538 has a 34.5 kg warhead with 1,312 6 mm or 2,660 9 mm fragments, while the 9M541 submunitions are designed to penetrate up to 140 mm of rolled homogenous armour. All the three rockets have a range of up to 20 km.
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