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9A52-4 Tornado

Multiple launch rocket system

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

The 9A54-4 multiple launch rocket system may be Russia's answer to the US Himars

Country of origin Russia
Entered service -
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (combat) 24.65 t
Length 11.2 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 3.15 m
Caliber 300 mm
Number of tubes 6
Rocket weight 800 kg
Warhead weight 280 kg
Firing range 20 - 90 km
Full salvo duration 20 s
Reloading time 8 minutes
Engine KamAZ-740.50.360 diesel
Engine power 360 hp
Maximum road speed 90 km/h
Range 1 000 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 0.6 - 1.4 m
Fording 1.5 m


   The Tornado multiple launch rocket system may be Russia's answer to the US HIMARS. The 9A52-4 was first revealed in 2007. It is a lightweight and universal version of the Smerch MLRS. The 9A52-4 is more strategically and tactically mobile, but mobility comes at a cost of reduced firepower. This artillery rocket system is aimed both at the Russian Army and export customers. However by 2018 it received no production orders.

   A universal multiple launch rocket system concept offers advantages of faster reloading and simpler logistics. It is capable of firing existing types of rockets without special preparation or changes.

   The 9A52-4 Tornado is fitted with a single container with six launching tubes for 300 mm rockets. It can fire all current Smerch rockets, including HE-FRAG, incendiary, fuel-air explosive, cluster with anti-personnel or anti-tank mines. Cluster rounds may also carry self-targeting anti-tank munitions. A standard rocket is 7.6 m long and weights 800 kg. Maximum range of fire is 70 km with ordinary and 90 km with extended-range rockets. Rockets are fitted with range and direction correction system for better accuracy. A full salvo of this rocket system covers area of 32 hectares.

   Two types of containers are available. One of them is factory-fitted and sealed. It is used to store, transport and launch rockets. The whole container is disposable. It is replaced after all rockets are launched. Another is an open-type, reusable launcher pack. It is reloaded with individual rockets by a reloading vehicle in field conditions.

   Launching pods with smaller 220 mm Uragan rockets were also developed for this system. Some sources report that pods with even smaller 122 mm Grad rockets were also under development. However the Russian Army already adopted and operates Tornado-G and Grad-K artillery rocket systems with 122 mm rockets.

   The Tornado launcher vehicle uses chassis of KamAZ-63501 8x8 military truck. It is powered by a KamAZ-740.50.360 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 360 hp. This heavy-duty truck has good cross-country mobility. Artillery system has climatic operation range from -40C to +50C.

   A crew of two men prepares system for firing within 3 minutes, without leaving the cabin. The launch vehicle is fitted with automated laying and fire control system. It is also fitted with autonomous satellite navigation and positioning system. A launch vehicle exchanges positioning and firing data with command vehicle. Rockets can be launched directly form the cab, or remotely form the vehicle. The 9A52-4 can launch single rocket, partial ripple or full salvo.

   A 9A52-4 launching vehicle with an open-type reusable launcher pack is supported by a 9T234-4 reloading vehicle. It is based on the same KamAZ-63501 8x8 wheeled chassis, but has some differences. It is fitted with a crane and carries 6 individual reload rockets. The 9A52-4 launching vehicle is reloaded within 8 minutes. Reloading usually takes place away from firing position, to avoid counter-battery fire. No information is available on a reloading vehicle, which transports and reloads sealed containers.




   Uragan-1M is a new Russian artillery rocket system, that might become a replacement for the ageing Uragan and Smerch systems. Production of the Uragan wheeled chassis (ZiL-135 LMP) ended some years ago and these old systems become troublesome to maintain and keep in operational service. The Uragan-1M carries two launching pods for 300 mm and 220 mm rockets. These rocket pods are interchangeable with the Tornado system. However the Uragan-1M carries two pods instead of one, hence it has twice the firepower. Launcher vehicle is based on MZKT-7930 high-mobility chassis with 8x8 configuration.


   Some of these pictures and updated information was sent us by SERGEI V. GUROV

   Thank you Sergei!

    Send us your own articles. Please visit guidelines for writers for more information.


Video of the 9A52-4 multiple launch rocket system


9T234-4 reloading vehicle

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

9A52-4 Tornado MLRS

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