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M87 Orkan

Multiple launch rocket system

M87 Orkan

The M87 Orkan multiple launch rocket system project was finished in the early 1990s



Entered service -
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 32 t
Length 9 m
Width 2.64 m
Height 3.84 m
Armament
Caliber 262-mm
Number of tubes 12
Rocket weight 390 kg
Warhead weight 91 kg
Firing range 5 - 50 km
Full salvo duration 40 s
Reloading time 30 minutes
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power 315 hp
Maximum road speed 80 km/h
Range 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 25%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench 1.8 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   The M87 Orkan (hurricane) is a multiple launch rocket system, jointly developed by Yugoslavia and Iraq. Most of development was made in Yugoslavia and some manufacturing took place in Iraq. It was first publicly revealed in 1988 during defense exhibition in Iraq, labeled as the Ababil-50. The Orkan MLRS project was finished in the early 1990s due to collapse of the Yugoslavia. It is estimated that only four pre-production artillery systems were built. In the mid-1990s it saw action during various conflicts in the Balkans.

   The M87 Orkan artillery system is fitted with twelve 262-mm tubes. A standard rocket is 4.7 m long and weights 390 kg. Maximum range of fire is about 50 km. An extended range rocket with a maximum range of 70 km was under development. It is capable of firing warheads with anti-tank or anti-personnel submunitions. A full salvo of this artillery system covers area of 2 - 4 ha, depending on the warhead type.

   Vehicle has a high level of automation. It can launch salvo within 2 - 3 minutes from traveling. It can leave firing position within 1 minute, to avoid counter-battery fire.

   This artillery system is based on the FAP 3232 8x8 truck. Cab of this truck is fitted with NBC protection system. The Orkan MLRS is armed with a 12.7-mm machine gun, mounted on top of the cab roof. Vehicle has a central tyre inflation system. In travelling position launching pod is covered, which makes it harder to recognize, as this artillery system looks like a usual utility truck. It is worth mentioning that other ex-Yugoslavian multiple launch rocket systems also cover their launching pods.

   A complete battery consists of 4 launchers, 4 reloading trucks, command vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle, meteorological vehicle. The Orkan MLRS launching vehicle could also serve as a battery command post and send target data to other launching vehicles. A battery command vehicle was based on the 6x6 truck.

   Associated reloading vehicle can carry two sets of reload rockets (24) and was fitted with a crane. It was based on the same 8x8 chassis. Each launching tube is reloaded within 3 minutes. Reloading is assisted by a special device, located in the center part of the launching pod.

 

Variants

 

   M96 Orkan II multiple launch rocket system. Serbian army redeveloped the original M87 Okran to the Orkan II. It was the simplest solution with minimal investment to develop a basic MLRS. Vehicle is converted from the out-dated Luna-M (FROG-7B) short-range battlefield rocket launcher, fitted with four Orkan 262-mm tubes. Some sources suggest, that only one vehicle was ever built.

   Orkan CER, a recent version of the  M87 Orkan, based on a Russian KamAZ 8x8 heavy utility truck. It has a new launcher pack with 8 tubes and is compatible with 262-mm rockets.

 

Video of the M87 Orkan multiple launch rocket system

 

 
M87 Orkan

M87 Orkan

M87 Orkan

M87 Orkan

M87 Orkan

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