Two BMD-20 multiple rocket launchers during a 2012 North Korean parade.
Source: Chinese internet - © copyright lies with original owner
The BMD-20 is an early Cold War era multiple rocket launcher of Soviet origin. It was developed shortly after the Cold War and was intended to bombard a large area at once. The BMD-20 was a powerful weapon but suffered from a number of drawbacks. Its accuracy was limited and it carried only four missiles which were difficult to reload.
The BMD-20 launch vehicle is based on a Zil-151 6x6 truck chassis which carries the designation 8U33. It carries four large MD-20F solid fuel rockets with 200mm diameter. The lattice type launcher can be raised and has a marginal traverse. The fin stabilized missiles are launched over the cab, requiring the vehicle to face the target direction. The windows of the driver's cab are protected by folding metal sheet covers. Two jacks at the rear of the chassis are lowered before firing to prevent damage to the chassis. The rockets are ripple fired in 6 seconds and take 6 to 10 minutes to reload.
The BMD-20 was a very powerful artillery piece. The large artillery rockets have a 40 kg blast fragmentation warhead that create a crater 6 meters wide and 3 meters deep. The maximum range of the rockets is 18.750 meters. Dispersion of rockets was about 210 meters in range and 90 meters in traverse. Their limited accuracy made the BMD-20 only useful against area targets. Effectiveness was improved by using multiple launchers at the same time.
The ZiL-151 6x6 truck allows for a good mobility on road and reasonable cross country mobility. The petrol engine allows for a maximum speed of 60 km/h on roads. Emplacement time is about 2 minutes.
The primary user of the BMD-20 was the Soviet military. It was used from 1951 until the mid 1970's. At that time it was replaced by the more potent 9K57 Uragan. Unlike other Soviet artillery weapons the BMD-20 was not widely exported. In Ethiopia the BDM-20 was used until the late 1980's. Nowadays it remains in active use with North Korea.
The 8U33 is the launch vehicle associated with the BMD-20 multiple rocket launcher. It is based on the Zil-151 truck. Some BMD-20 are based on the Zil-157. It is unknown if these are late production models or renovated models. The 8U33 is easily recognized by the 4 round lattice type launcher. Out of the 6 crewmembers 3 are seated in the cab and 3 outside behind the cab.
The MD-20 Shtorm-1 is the rocket associated with the BMD-20. The GRAU index of the rocket is 53-F-951. The rockets are fin-stabilized, solid fuel powered and feature 7 nozzles. It is believed only a single type of warhead was available. This is a 30 kg HE-Frag warhead with impact fuse.
The BMD-20 was replaced by the longer range and more flexible BM-27 Uragan multiple rocket launcher.
© WeaponSystems.net | All rights reserved.