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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

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 9A52-4 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.

   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 122-mm Grad and 220-mm Uragan rockets are currently under development.

   The 9A52-4 multiple launch rocket system uses chassis of KamAZ-63501 8x8 military truck. Vehicle 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 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.




   9A53 Tornado, based on the MZKT-7930 8x8 wheeled chassis. It might become a replacement for the ageing BM-27 Uragan and Smerch MLRS. It is worth mentioning that production of the Uragan wheeled chassis (ZiL-135 LMP) ended some years ago. The Tornado carries two launching pods for 220-mm or 300-mm rockets.


   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


9A53 Tornado MLRS mounted on the MZKT 8x8 chassis

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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