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Multiple launch rocket system


The BM-14 is a Soviet family of 140-mm artillery rocket systems

Entered service 1952
Crew 7 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 7 t
Weight (loaded, with crew) 8.2 t
Length 6.93 m
Length (with winch) 7.26 m
Width 2.3 m
Height 2.65 m
Caliber 140-mm
Number of tubes 16
Rocket weight 39.6 kg
Warhead weight 18.4 kg
Firing range 2 - 10 km
Full salvo duration 7 - 10 s
Reloading time 2 minutes
Engine ZIS-121 petrol
Engine power 92 hp
Maximum road speed up to 60 km/h
Range 520 - 665 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope ~ 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.5 m
Trench ~ 0.5 m
Fording 0.75 m


   The BM-14 is a family of Soviet 140-mm artillery rocket systems. Development of this system began in 1947. It was accepted to service with the Soviet Army in 1952, alongside the BMD-20 200-mm rocket system.

   The BM-14 launcher vehicle was exported to the following states: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, Egypt, Kampuchea (now Cambodia including a tracked version), North Korea, Poland, Somalia, Syria, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe, and possibly some other countries. It was license-produced in China and Poland. It is no longer used by the Russian Army, former Soviet republics. However it is likely that some systems are still in service with export operators.

   The launcher module is mounted on a modified ZIL-151 6x6 truck chassis. This version is sometimes referred as BM-14-16. The launcher has a 16-round pack: four groups of 4 tubes each, two groups in each row. It fires 140-mm spin-stabilized artillery rockets. Two types of rockets are available. There is a M-14OF rocket with high explosive fragmentation warhead, M-14D rocket with smoke warhead and M-14S rocket with chemical warhead. The last two mentioned were developed in 1955. It is worth noting that design of these Soviet rockets was based on a German 158,5 mm rocket, used during the WWII.

   A standard M-14OF rocket is 1.08 m long and weights 39.6 kg. Warhead weights 18.4 kg. It has a maximum range of 10 km.

   This artillery system has a brief reaction time. It can stop and launch rockets within 1 or 2 minutes from travelling. Rockets are reloaded manually by the crew within 2 minutes. Reload rockets were carried by escorting truck.

   The launcher vehicle is powered by a ZIS-121 petrol engine, developing 92 hp. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Vehicle has a 6x6 configuration and adequate cross-country mobility.

    A number of variants of the BM-14 were developed. Also there was a naval version of this system. Production of these artillery systems ceased in the Soviet Union ceased in the late 1960s. It was replaced by a more capable BM-21 Grad and its variants.




   BM-14M improved version, mounted on a ZIL-157 chassis. In 1958 production of the ZIL-151 truck ceased in favor to the newer ZIL-157. So launcher module was simply relocated onto a new chassis;

   BM-14MM improved version, mounted on a ZIL-131 chassis. It appeared in the mid 1960s. This vehicle has better cross-country mobility due to a 150 hp engine and central tyre inflation system. Artillery module is exactly the same as used on the BM-14. This version was exported to  Burkina Faso;

   BM-14-17 a 17 tube launcher, based on the GAZ-63A 4x4 truck. This artillery rocket system was used by the Soviet naval infantry units;

   BM-14-17M improved version of the BM-14-17, based on a newer GAZ-66 4x4 truck;

   RPU-14 towed 16-tube launcher;

   WP-8 a Polish 8-tube towed launcher. A small number of these launchers were produced for airborne troops;

   Type 63 Chinese copy.


Sergey V. Gurov

   Article by SERGEI V. GUROV

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