20 February 2019
By Dmitry Fediushko
Russia’s Tecmash Concern, a subsidiary of the State Corporation Rostec, has showcased its newest Tornado-G 122 mm multiple rocket launch (MRL) system abroad for the first time at the IDEX 2019 international defence show and conference being held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, from 17-21 February.
“The combat vehicle of the Tornado-G MRL system has been fitted with the ASUNO automated guidance and fire control system that increases the system’s accuracy and optimises firing process,” a source from Tecmash told European Defence Review (EDR) at the IDEX 2019.
Like the venerable BM-21 Grad (Avalanche) MRL system, the Tornado-G is armed with 40 122 mm launching tubes that have been integrated with a single package in 10×4 configuration. “The new weapon can use legacy 122 mm rockets,” said the source.
Tecmash has also unveiled the 9M539 122 mm rocket armed with a separable high-explosive fragmentation (HE-Frag) warhead. The new ammunition is designed to engage manpower, automotive vehicles, command and control posts, and other soft-skin targets. “The 9M539 rocket has a firing range of 5-20 km and can be operated at temperatures varying between -50C and +50C. Compared to the basic 9M22U rocket-propelled munition of the [BM-21] Grad, the new weapon has an improved effectiveness that has been increased six-fold on the average,” said Director General of Tecmash Vladimir Lepin.
According to JSC Splav, a subsidiary of Tecmash, the export-oriented Tornado-G MRL system weighs 14,900 kg in combat mode and has a three-strong crew. The combat vehicle is based on an Ural-4320-family 6×6 all-terrain truck that produces a maximum speed of 80 km/h and can cross a 1.5 m-deep water obstacle. “Owing to high level of automation, the Tornado-G MRL system can effectively be used during ‘shoot and scoot’ scenarios,” said the source from Tecmash.
The Russian Armed Forces are now receiving the domestic modification of the Tornado-G.
Photo by Dmitry Fediushko