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Grad-1

Multiple launch rocket system

Grad-1

The Grad-1 rocket system is intended for the front-line artillery units

 
 
Entered service 1976
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (empty) 10.43 t
Length 6.9 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 2.48 m
Armament
Caliber 122-mm
Number of tubes 36
Rocket weight 57 kg
Warhead weight 21 kg
Firing range 1.5 - 15 km
Full salvo duration 18 s
Reloading time 7 minutes
Mobility
Engine petrol engine
Engine power 150 hp
Maximum road speed 80 km/h
Range 525 - 850 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step up to 0.6 m
Trench ~ 1 m
Fording 1.4 m

 

   The Grad-1 multiple launch rocket system is a variant of the BM-21 Grad. It was developed in the early 1970s for the front-line artillery units and entered service with the Soviet Army in 1976. The whole system is designated as the 9K55. Currently it is in service with Russia, Belarus, Sudan and Ukraine. Kazakhstan currently offers paid-off Grad-1 systems for possible export customers. Iraq used to operate this system, however there is no information after the war.

   This system is designed to engage enemy troops, both exposed and sheltered, materiel and lightly armored vehicles in concentration areas. It is also used against artillery and mortar batteries, command posts and other targets.

   The Grad-1 is generally similar to the BM-21 Grad, however is lighter and a number of launching tubes was reduced. A launching vehicle (designated 9P138) is fitted with 36 tubes for 122-mm rockets. The launcher pack is arranged in two rows of 10 tubes each and two rows of 8 tubes each. The Grad-1 is compatible only with the shorter-range rockets of the original Grad system. Maximum range of fire is up to 15 km. A standard HE-FRAG rocket weights 57 kg and warhead weights 21 kg. Rockets with a following warheads are available, including HE-FRAG, smoke, cargo with scatterable submunitions. There is also a radio communications jamming warhead.

   This artillery system can launch single rounds or full salvo. A full salvo of one launch vehicle with a 9M28F HE-FRAG rockets has an effective coverage area of 2 ha against personnel and 3.6 ha against materiel. Rockets can be launched directly form the cab or remotely from the vehicle. Remote cable is 60 m long.

   The baseline variant of the Grad-1 MLRS is used by the motorized infantry units. It is based on a modified ZiL-131 6x6 general utility truck. This vehicle is fitted with a petrol engine, developing 150 hp. It has a full-time all-wheel drive and is fitted with a central tyre inflation system.

   The Grad-1 is escorted by a resupply vehicle, based on the same general utility truck chassis, which carries reload rockets. Rockets are reloaded manually by the crew. It takes 7 minutes to reload all launching tubes.

   This multiple launch rocket system has a climatic operational range between -40C to +50C. It can be airlifted by most medium transport aircraft.

 

Variants

 

   Grad-1, based on a modified tracked chassis of the 2S1 Gvosdika self-propelled howitzer. Launching vehicle is designated as 9P139. This artillery rocket system was intended for armored units. Some sources claim that a small batch of these vehicles was produced.

 

Sergey V. Gurov

   Article by SERGEI V. GUROV

   Want to publish your own articles? Visit our guidelines for more information.

 

9P139 launching vehicle based on the MT-LB

 
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