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Multiple launch rocket system

Prima MLRS

The Prima multiple launch rocket system is a further development of the BM-21 Grad

Entered service 1988
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 13.85 t
Length 7.35 m
Width 2.43 m
Height 2.68 m
Caliber 122-mm
Number of tubes 50
Rocket weight 70 kg
Warhead weight 26 kg
Firing range 5 - 21 km
Full salvo duration 30 s
Reloading time 10 minutes
Engine YaMZ-740 diesel
Engine power 210 hp
Maximum road speed 85 km/h
Range 990 ~ 1040 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.55 m
Trench up to 1.2 m
Fording 1.5 m


   The Prima multiple launch rocket system is a further development of the BM-21 Grad. It was accepted to service with the Soviet Army in 1988, however due to the budget cuts only a small number of these systems was produced. Some sources claim that it is also in service with Kazakhstan.

   The Prima MLRS is also referred as the 9K59 and the launching vehicle is 9A51. It has 50 launching tubes for 122-mm rockets. It is worth mentioning that the older Grad has 40 launching tubes. It can fire all rockets developed for the BM-21 Grad, including cluster rockets with anti-tank or anti-personnel submunition. Furthermore new and more effective rockets were developed for this system. The new 9M53F rocket with a separable HE-FRAG warhead is standard for this artillery system. It is 3 m long and weights 70 kg. Its warhead separates from the rocket and lands on the ground with a small parachute. Warhead approaches the ground nearly vertically and has 6 times better coverage area comparing with the older Grad HE-FRAG rocket. Maximum range of fire is up to 21 km. This and other new rockets can also be fired from improved Grad launchers.

   Rockets can be launched directly from the driver's cab or remotely form the vehicle. A full salvo of the Prima has 7-8 times better coverage and it spends 4-5 times less time in its firing position comparing with the Grad.

   The Prima multiple launch rocket system is mounted on Ural-4320 6x6 truck chassis. It is powered by a YaMZ-740 diesel engine, developing 210 horsepower. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system.

   A battery of Prima MLRS includes launching vehicles, reloading vehicles, Kapustnik-B fire control vehicle, topography vehicle and direction-finding meteorological vehicle.

   The 9T232M reloading vehicle is also based on a modified chassis of the Ural-4320 utility truck and carries 72 reload rockets. Reloading takes about 10 minutes.


   Some of these pictures and updated information was sent us by SERGEI V. GUROV

   Thank you Sergei!

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


Prima MLRS

Prima MLRS

Prima MLRS

Prima MLRS

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