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BM-21V Grad-V

Multiple launch rocket system

BM-21V Grad-V

The BM-21V Grad-V artillery rocket system can be airdropped from medium transport aircraft

Entered service 1967
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 5.95 t
Length 5.66 m
Width 2.4 m
Height 2.44 m
Caliber 122-mm
Number of tubes 12
Rocket weight 66.6 kg
Warhead weight 18.4 kg
Firing range 1.6 - 20.1 km
Full salvo duration 6 s
Reloading time 5 min
Engine ZMZ-66 petrol
Engine power 115 hp
Maximum road speed 85 km/h
Range 875 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench ~ 0.6 m
Fording 0.8 m


   The Grad-V airportable multiple launch rocket system was specially developed for use by the airborne forces. Official development began in 1963. It was accepted to service with the Soviet airborne divisions in 1967. This lightweight artillery system can be also used by a field mobile rocket units. Currently it is in service with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Some sources claim, that the Grad-V has been export to Iraq, however current status of these systems in unknown.

   The main element of the Grad-V multiple launch rocket system is the BM-21V launch vehicle. It uses a number of components of the BM-21 Grad. A number of launching tubes was reduced from 40 to 12 to reduce weight. Launching tubes are similar to those of the BM-21 Grad, however the Grad-V is limited to firing HE-FRAG rockets only. However there is information that new 122-mm rockets can be launched from the BM-21V.

   A standard rocket with a HE-FRAG warhead is 2.87 m long and weights 66.6 kg. Its warhead weights 18.4 kg. Maximum range of fire is 20.1 km.

   The BM-21V has a crew of two. It takes 3.5 minutes to prepare the launch vehicle for firing. Two stabilizers are deployed on the rear before firing. The Grad-V fires single rockets or full salvo. Vehicle leaves firing position within 3.5 minutes. A brief redeployment time allows to avoid counter-battery fire.

   The BM-21V launch vehicle is based on the GAZ-66B 4x4 light utility truck. It is a variant of the GAZ-66 truck, modified for use by airborne forces. Vehicle is powered by a ZMZ-66 petrol engine, developing 115 hp. This truck is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. A soft-top cab of the GAZ-66V is fitted with a canvas cover, which is removed to reduce the size, when vehicle is loaded on a special parachute platform. The BM-21V can be airdropped from the An-12 and larger military transport aircraft. It could be also carried by the Mi-6 heavy lift helicopter and Mi-10 flying crane.

   The BM-21V launching vehicle is reloaded manually. Reload rockets are carried in escorting 9F37V transport vehicle, which is also based on a modified GAZ-66B cross-country truck chassis. All 12 tubes are reloaded within 5 minutes. Reloading usually takes place away from firing position, to avoid counter-battery fire. This multiple launch rocket system has a climatic operational range from -40C to +50C.


Sergey V. Gurov

   Article by SERGEI V. GUROV

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BM-21V Grad-V

BM-21V Grad-V

BM-21V Grad-V

BM-21V Grad-V

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