Artillery / Multiple rocket launchers / BM-21 Grad

BM-21 Grad

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Multiple rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    BM-21a (US designation for BM-21)
    BM-21b (US designation for BM-21M)
    M1964 (NATO designation for BM-21)
    M1975 (NATO designation for BM-21V)
    M1976 (NATO designation for BM-21M)
    122 RAKH 76 (Finnish service)

  • DESIGNED
    Mid 1950's

  • DESIGNER
    Splav

  • PRODUCTION
    1963 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Russia
    USSR

  • QUANTITY
    Over 2.000

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good firepower
    Limited costs
    Easy to use
    Average accuracy
    Limited range

Introduction

The BM-21 is a multiple rocket launcher of Russian origin. It was developed in the 1950's to replace older World War 2 era multiple rocket launchers. The BM-21 is the world's most widely used multiple rocket launcher. Its 122mm rocket and launcher design are employed on many foreign weapon systems. The nickname Grad is Russian for hailstorm.

Layout

The BM-21 essentially is a Ural 375D 6x6 truck fitted with a 40 round launcher for 122mm artillery rockets. Laying the launcher is an activity similar to laying a mortar and is done by using sights on the left side of the launcher. Additional rockets are carried on transloader vehicles.

Firepower

The BM-21 fires spin stabilized 122mm rockets. A variety of warheads is available. The standard range of rockets has a range of 20 km. In Russia and abroad several families of rockets with 30 km and 40 km range have been developed, but are in limited use. The 40 rockets can be ripple fired in 20 seconds.

Protection

The BM-21 is based on an unarmored vehicle and during travel, firing and reloading the crew is unprotected. There is no NBC system.

Mobility

The 6x6 Ural truck provides a good cross country mobility and fast travel on roads.

Users

The BM-21 was the standard Soviet multiple rocket launcher during the Cold War and remains in active use all over the world today, except for Western nations. Many nations have developed their own model based on the 122mm rocket and launcher design.

Variants

BM-21 Grad

The BM-21 is the original and most common version of the Grad family. It is based on a Ural 375D 6x6 5 t truck. The BM-21 has a 40-round launcher. There also is a version of the BM-21 that uses the newer Ural 4320 truck, this version is called the BM-21-1.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew?
Length7.35 m
Width2.69 m
Height2.85 m
Ground clearance?
Weight13.7 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6
Turn radius10.5 m
EngineZIL-375 7L V8 petrol, 180 hp at 3.200 rpm
Power ratio13.1 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed80 km/h
Fuel360 L
Range1.000 km
Wall0.65 m
Trench0.9 m
Gradient60% gradient
Fording1.5 m
ArmorNo
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament122mm Grad missile launcher (40x)
Weapon1122mm Grad 40-round missile launcher
40 rounds, all ready to fire
0 to +55° elevation
120° left and 60° right traverse
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

BM-21M Grad-1

The BM-21M is a lightweight version of the BM-21. It is based on the ZIL-131 6x6 3.5 t truck. Due to the different lifting mechanism the middle two launchers of the lower two rows are removed, resulting in a 36 round launcher. The BM-21M launch vehicle is known as the 9P138.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew5
Length6.9 m
Width2.5 m
Height2.48 m
Ground clearance?
Weight10.5 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 6x6
Turn radius?
EngineZIL-131 6L V8 petrol, 150 hp at 3.200 rpm
Power ratio14.3 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed80 km/h
Fuel340 L
Range525 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorNo
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks2.5 minute emplacement time, 0.5 minute displacement time
Armament122mm Grad missile launcher (36x)
Weapon1122mm Grad 36-round missile launcher
36 rounds, all ready to fire
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

BM-21V Grad-V

The BM-21V was developed for air assault devisions. It is a smaller and lighter system as it is developed to be dropped by parachute. The GAZ-66B 4x4 truck chassis is used and fitted with a 12 round launcher.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew2 (commander, driver)
Length5.65 m
Width2.32 m
Height2.44 m
Ground clearance?
Weight6.0 t
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4
Turn radius?
EngineZMZ-66 4.3L V8 petrol, 115 hp at 3.200 rpm
Power ratio19.2 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed85 km/h
Fuel210 L
Range875 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorNo
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks3.5 minute emplacement time, 0.5 minute displacement time
Armament122mm Grad missile launcher (12x)
Weapon1122mm Grad 12-round missile launcher
12 rounds, all ready to fire
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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