The Vilkha-M, a Ukrainian upgrade for the BM-30 Smerch 300 mm multiple launch rocket system, has completed another series of tests, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 30 August.
In January 2016, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko discussed the Vilkha project for the first time and referenced local companies Yuzhnoye from Dnipro and Luch from Kiev as its designer.
The upgrade was seen as essential because Ukraine had exhausted its stocks of Soviet-era rockets for the system and needed to develop a replacement. By August 2016, the first tests had been completed. Government testing of the standard Vilkha was completed in April 2018 after a series of launches on the test ground in the Kherson region.
The Ukrainian armed forces had accepted the original Vilkha into service by the close of 2018, and the most recent tests reflect the military's efforts to field an enhanced version, the Vilkha-M.
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