M-21 Field rocket system

The M-21 Field rocket system is designed to engage open and sheltered manpower, unarmoured vehicles and armoured personnel carriers in the area of concentration, artillery and mortar batteries, command posts and other targets.

The regulation №578-236 of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to begin research and development work on the new system was issued on May 30, 1960. The Main Artillery Directorate was issued tactical and technical requirements under the number №0010044 to carry out research and development work called as Grad Field rocket system. They were confirmed on May 26, 1960 (outgoing а/579686 dated June 6, 1960 from the Main Artillery Directorate).

The development of a launch vehicle was carried out by the State Design Bureau of Compressor Machine Building specialists (Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg, Russia). The Chief Designer was Alexander Ivanovich Yaskin. The development of the rocket (unguided) was carried out by the Research Institute-147 and related enterprises teams. The NII-147 was headed by a talented designer Alexander Nikitovich Ganichev. In 1961 the factory development of the Grad divisional field rocket system consisting of 122 mm unguided 3OF10 projectile and 2B-5 mobile launcher was completed. From March 1 to May 1, 1962, at the Leningrad Military District, the system was subjected to state testing. Based on the Resolution No. 372-130 of the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated 28 March 1963 called as "On Adoption of the Grad Field Rocket System", the Council of Ministers of the USSR decided "to accept the proposal of the USSR Ministry of Defense Ministry to adopt the Grad Field Rocket System for service with the Soviet Army. When the well-known indeindices (BM-21, M-21-OF, etc.) were assigned to the elements of the new system it was not documented. The M-21 system was a divisional-level system and is now better known as the 9K51 Grad multiple launch rocket system.

The article about the development and testing of future M-21 Field rocket system see on our website. The author article is Sergei V. Gurov (Tula, Russia). The link is here.

The 9K51 Grad MRS was proliferating for decades by the Soviet defense industry. The launch vehicle is widely used. For example, about 3,000 BM-21 launch vehicles and more 3 million rockets were produced by the Motovilikhinskie Zavody (the Motovilikha Plants). The production of launch vehicle and its modifications were organized in China, Egypt, Iraq, Romania and the South Africa. Now, the system is in service with armies more than 30 countries in the world. In early 1994, the Russian Army had 4,500 Grad systems and 3,000 ones were in the armies of other countries. Romania delivered 53 Grad MRSs to the USA and 20 Grad ones to Cameroon.

Series production of the 9M22 rocket for the Grad MRS was organized since 1964 at the Stamp plant. The shell manufacturing areas were mostly used. The munition production for the Grad MRS has been continued at this plant until the end of 80s of the XX century. Mikhail Mikhailovich Tarabarchev was one of the managers who had a difficult task to master this production.

The development of filling technology for the 9M22U item was started at the enterprise 8918 (post box, P.O.B. 9818, now JSC Bryansk Chemical Plant named after the 50th anniversary of the USSR, Selzo, Bryansk region, Russia). The assembly was initially carried out on manual production line. Works on the commissioning of automated assembly line was carried out in the building №1 in 1968. This line was commissioned in 1968. Later, the building of a filling complex for the 9M22U item warheads (shop №3) was started based on the Minister Order №262 dated 30 August 1968. Serial production of the 9M22U and 9M22M products (rockets) was launched.

The building №4 of the enterprise P.O.B. 8918 branch was put into operation in 1972, where an automated assembly line for the 9M22U item line was assembled. This line was characterized by higher productivity, manufacturability and its quality of products. The automated lines were developed and applied in industry by KNIIM. The plant was a leading manufacturer of multiple launch rocket systems. The execution of the work on considerable volume of orders were mainly organized in three production shift. Unfortunately, the automated assembly lines for the 9M22U and 9M53F products (rockets) in the buildings №1 and №4 were removed due to shutdown because of absence of orders from 1990.

Works on maturation (development work) were carried out at the CDB-14 (the Central Design Bureau №14) in July and August 1965. They were initiated by the Order №205 of the Defence Industry Ministry dated 9 July 1965. The Grad-D system was matured with a M-21OF rocket and a 9P131 launcher. The Integration Trials of a 9P131 launcher with a standard M-21OF rocket took place. As a result of the tests, the following result were obtained: maximum range – 20.4 km, precise (deviation) – 1/278 in direction and 1/326 in range.

The Grad D system was recommended for adoption for service by the Joint Test Commission, 64176 army unit and the Ministry of Defence Industry.

The M-21 Field rocket system has become a standard system for other domestic systems developed for the benefit of various branches of the armed forces:

  • M-21B - Field rocket system for the airborne troops;
  • A-215 Grad-M - ship's MLRS for armament of the Navy landing ships;
  • 9K55 Grad-1 - multiple launch rocket system for the land forces;
  • DP-62 Damba - coastal self-propelled bombardment rocket system;
  • 9K59 Prima - multi-purpose multiple launch rocket system for the land forces;
  • 9K510 Illumination - portable rocket system;
  • 9F689 "Beaver" - targeted complex.

Its components have also used as the basis for research and development work on the Grad-A, Grad-VD and Shipovnik (Rosehipovnik) systems. The Grad-P lightweight portable rocket system was developed for special foreign delivery.

The M-21 system has also become the standard system for the foreign systems of rocket artillery such as:

  • RM-70, RM-70/85, RM-70/85M – launch vehicles with launch units from the BM-21 LV for launching 122mm domestic and foreign rockets (Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic)
  • APR – launch vehicle (Romania)
  • APRA – series of the launch vehicle for launching the 122mm rockets (Romania)
  • PRL111 and PRL113 – lightweight, portable rocket launchers for the 122mm rockets (Egypt).
  • Type 81, Type 84, Type 89, Type 90, Type 90A, Type 90B – launch vehicles (China)
  • BM-11 – series of 122mm 30 and 40-round launch vehicles (North Korea)
  • HADID – 30 and 40-round versions of the 122mm launch vehicles (Iran)
  • BelGrad (Republic of Belarus)
  • LAROM (Romania-Israel), Lynx (Israel), Naiza (Kazakhstan) - multiple launch rocket systems for the ground forces (Israel, Kazakhstan)
  • Modular – launch vehicle for firing 122mm and 227mm rockets (Slovakia - Germany)
  • WR-40 Langusta launch vehicle for firing 122mm rockets (Poland)
  • LV variants on KRAZ chassis photo 1, photo 2, photo 3 (Ukraine)
  • Versions of launch vehicles in Libya, Lebanon and possibly other countries
  • MCL launch vehicle (Turkey-United Arab Emirates)
  • Modernized (experimental) launch vehicle 2B26-KZ (photo 1, photo 2) (Kazakhstan)
  • Modernized (experimental) launch vehicle BM21-NA (Bulgaria)
  • Launch vehicle (Transnistrian Moldovan Republic)
  • Experimental launch vehicle (Transnistrian Moldovan Republic)

The M-21 system was first used in combat operations during the border conflict on Damansky Island in 1969. Later, it was used in combat operations in Angola, Afghanistan, Africa, Somalia, Georgia, the Chechen Republic, the South Ossetia, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and other countries.

According to the recollection of Goryachev Alexander Sergeyevich, who took part in the combat operations in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s of the XX century, to perform combat missions, the transport vehicle was used to put about half of the ammunition, i.e. in fact, about 1.5 ammunition was transported.  

Russia has developed an algorithm for upgrading the Grad and Grad-1 rockets to increase their range to 40 km.

Launch vehicles of various modifications were and are in service with the armies of the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Georgia, Germany (the Group of Soviet troops in Germany), Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Moldova, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of Belarus (Belarus, Red Banner Belarusian Military District), Republic of Congo, Russia (in the USSR including the Marines and the Northern Fleet), (it is possible that the Damba system), the Red Banner Siberian Military District, the Orders of Lenin Leningrad Military District, the Central Group of Forces, the Orders of Lenin Moscow Military District, the Red Banner Central Asian Military District, the Northern Group of Forces, the Red Banner Pre-Carpathian Military District), Romania, Chad, Croatia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Syria, Seychelles, Somalia, Myanmar, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Ukraine (Red Banner of the Kiev Military District, Red Banner of the Carpathian Military District), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Syria. According to the report from FSUE ROSOBORONEXPORT, 51 "Grad" systems were supplied to the USA from Romania. It is likely that they were purchased for research purposes (use as targets).

Composition: 

РСЗО "Град"

Composition of the M-21 field rocket system:

  • BM-21 launch vehicle (see diagram, photo) (later 2B17, 2B17-1),
  • M-21OF 122mm unguided rockets (other types of rockets were later included in the system),
  • general purpose trucks for delivery of ammunition both in fleet boxes and in the 9F37 set of racks. The research and development work on the 9T254 special transport vehicle (resupply vehicle) was completed in 2001 (see description).

The battery of the Grad multiple rocket system includes the 1B110 "Birch" control vehicle on a modified chassis of GAZ-66 truck. It provides data preparation for firing.

Compared to the launch vehicles of the previous generation, the BM-21 has the following design solutions introduced for the first time:

  • cradle for mounting the guide package, i.e. there has been a final rejection of the use as part of the launcher unit of the truss for mounting the guides;
  • a cylindrical tubular guideway with a screw guide groove;
  • electric actuator for guiding the swivel part along the elevation angle and azimuth;
  • pneumatic equipment, which served as an actuator for locking mechanisms of oscillating and swivel parts of the artillery part and shutdown of springs of the car chassis.

A number of elements of design and fastening of the BM-21 launcher unit were unified and were later used for the 9P125 launch vehicle of the the Grad-V MRS and 9P140 launch vehicle of the Uragan MRS.

BM-21 is a self-propelled rocket launcher, consisting of an launcher unit (see diagram) and the Ural-375D modified truck chassis fitted with a gasoline engine. The launcher unit includes forty tubular guides, cradle, base, swiveling, lifting and balancing mechanisms, epaulets, locking mechanism, complete frame, sights, pneumatic equipment, electric drives, auxiliary equipment.

The guides (see the diagram) are 3m long, with the inner diameter of the barrel's smooth channel being 122.4mm. To give the projectile rotational motion during its movement along the barrel channel, a screw U-slot is made in the guide rail, along which the projectile's driving pin slides.  The guides are arranged in four rows of ten pipes each, forming a package. The bag, together with the sights, is mounted on a rigid welded cradle. Guidance mechanisms allow the guide pouch to be guided vertically in the range of angles from 0° to +55°. The horizontal firing angle is 172° (102° to the left of the vehicle and 70° to the right). The main guiding method is from the actuator.

The fire control system allows for both single shots and salvo fire. At the same time, the operation of an impulse sensor, providing pyrozal operation of jet projectile engines, can be controlled both by means of a current distributor installed in the cabin of the BM-21, and a remote control at a distance of up to 50 meters. The duration of the full salvo is 20 seconds. Shots can be fired in a wide temperature range from -40°C to +50°C.

The running gear of the combat vehicle is the chassis of the Ural-375D cross-country vehicle (bhb wheel arrangement). This chassis has a V-shaped eight-cylinder carburetor engine ZIL-375, developing at 3200 rpm, the maximum power of 180 hp. The clutch is double disc, dry. Transmission is five-speed, with synchronizers in 2, 3, 4 and 5-speeds. Due to the presence on the chassis of a centralized air pressure control system in the tires starter unit has a high cross-country ability on soils with low bearing capacity. When driving on the highway, it reaches a maximum speed of 75 km/h. The depth of ford that can be overcome without preliminary preparation is 1.5m. The cabin of the BM-21 combat vehicle is equipped with firefighting equipment and R-108M radio station.

The calculation includes the commander and numbers: No. 1 - gunner; No. 2 - detonator installer; No. 3 - charger (radiotelephone operator); No. 4 - transport vehicle driver - charger; No. 5 - fighting vehicle driver - charger.

The guides are recharged manually. People's economic lorries are used to deliver projectiles in park corking (boxes).

Originally, the norm of loading the truck bodies with the park capping was the following:

Car brand Number of crates in the body, pcs.
GAZ-51 18
GAZ-63 18
ZIL-130 21
ZIL-131 21
ZIL-151 24
ZIL-157 24

For delivery of rockets without boxes ZIL-157 trucks were used, in the body of which a set of shelves 9F37, right and left. This vehicle is called a transport vehicle.

The BM-21 launch vehicle put into mass production in 1965.

For the M-21 system, the 122 mm M-21OF unguided rocket was developed (see diagram, photo), the design of which had a revolutionary effect on the development of reactive artillery systems of this caliber. The rocket body of the rocket was not manufactured by traditional cutting from a steel billet, but by a high-performance method of rolling and hooding from a steel billet (mug). This method is used in the production of artillery shell casings.

During serial production of the M-21OF rocket, advanced technologies were widely introduced. They ensured increase of technical level of production, decrease of labour intensity and prime cost of projectile, decrease of scrap, quality improvement. In particular, as of 1.01.1967, during the three-year period of M-21OF development, the labor intensity of production was reduced from 205.5 to 63.3 n/hour.

After the M-21 system was adopted for service, a number of R&D and research works were carried out to create projectiles for various purposes, and special launchers. MS-21 and MS-21M projectiles with special fillings for the head units have been developed. The missile part of these projectiles was fully unified with the M-21OF projectile. The MS-21 and MS-21M projectiles were adopted by the Soviet Army (probably they are chemical warheads, known after being adopted under 9M23 and 9M23M indices).

Name of characteristic MS-21 rocket MS-21M rocket
Weight of warhead, kg 18,7 19
Weight of rocket, kg 66,7 67
Range of fire, km 19 20
Dispersion at maximum range:
            -Bб/X (direction)
            -Вд/X (range)
1/118
1/172
1/131
1/206
Dispersion ellipse, ha. 8 9

For the development of chemical rockets were issued tactical and technical requirements (TTT) GRAU № 0010091 (1 and 6 departments I Management STC GRAU) (Appendix to the TTT GRAU № 0010044-60) for the development work "Jet chemical projectile in the equipment" R-35 " and the substance" 60 "with a non-contact fuse on the basis of the projectile to the system" Grad "(Cipher of the work -" Lake "). It should be noted that the substance "60" was also planned to be used according to the TTT project on the ARC in the combat unit of "Temp-S" rocket (1961), TTTT GRAU project on the ARC "Military missile system "Luna-M" (1961), addition to TTT GRAU № 0010086 "Development of chemical combat unit of "Luna-M" product in the cassette version" and possibly other projects.

In 1968, the Soviet Army adopted and put into mass production a special rocket projectile 9M23 "Lake" (theme KRZ-122-61) (theme TULGOSNITOCHMASH). At the meeting of the plenum of NTS TULGOSNIITOchMASH (Tula) in 1968, in particular, the issue of nomination of candidates for the State Prize for the work "Development of chemical munitions for rearmament of the Soviet Army (projectile 9M23,9M23M)" was considered.

In 1971, the ammunition of the BM-21 combat vehicle was replenished with the MZ-21 unguided rocket projectile (index 9M22S) with an incendiary head unit. The principle of cluster ejection of incendiary elements was applied in the design of the projectile for the first time, which allowed a 30% increase in the effectiveness of the ammunition.

In 1972, TulgosNIItochmash carried out work on the topic HB2-154-72 "Single-channel system of angular stabilization to the projectiles such as "Grad" and "Hurricane" (beginning of work - 1 quarter 1972, end - 2 quarter 1973).

Investigation of the single-channel angular stabilization system design was conducted in two directions:

  • based on an angular velocity sensor using gas-dynamic actuators;
  • based on a contact angle sensor with powder pulse actuators.

According to the report of TulgosNIItochmash, in 1972 theoretical calculations, modeling on analogue electronic machines, experimental laboratory studies of single-channel angular stabilization system and its elements for unmanned rockets such as "Grad" and "Hurricane" were conducted. It was determined that the use of this system improves the accuracy of firing by 1.5-2 times. At the time of writing or reporting, a batch of the system's flight test units was in production.

In 1972, on the basis of the order No.17 of the Head 2 of the Main Department of the Ministry of Mechanical Engineering dated December 20, 1970, TulgosNIItochmash carried out the research work on the topic "Investigation of the ways of creating long-range projectiles for the systems of type "Grad" and "Hurricane" (topic HB2-110-71). The work performed demonstrated the possibility of increasing the range of the Grad and Hurricane projectiles by using strong materials for the hull and high-pulse fuels. Flight tests of the "Grad" type projectiles with the steel hull and a mixture of solid propellant charges were conducted (maximum range was 31-32 km). However, the charge from this type of fuel did not ensure serviceability in the temperature range of ±50°C.

By 1975, M-21OF missiles with indices 9M22U, 9M22U-1, 9M22 were developed. The work on the MRV fuse to the M-21OF projectile was carried out by the Research Institute (Zheleznodorozhny) under the supervision of the Head of Department, Chief Designer V.I.Pchelintsev. The MRV design provided for three installations: shrapnel effect, low deceleration, high deceleration. Later the MRV-U fuse was used. The MRV fuse (index 9E210) was used with M-21OF 9M22U and 9M22, the MRV-U fuse (index 9E244) with M-21OF 9M22U, 9M22U-1, 9M22.

The weights of M-21OF indexes 9M22U, 9M22U-1 and 9M22 depending on the type of the fuse and the charge are given in the table:

Characterization of the projectile Ordnance index Fuse designation and index Weight of projectile
M-21OF 9М22U
9М22U-1
MRV-U (index 9E244) 66,60
9М22U MRV (index 9E210) 66,78
9М22 MRV (index 9E210)
MRV-U (index 9E244)
66,00
65,72

Originally, the head unit was equipped with an explosive to detonate which a detonation checker was installed. Later on, if possible, the head unit was equipped with a non-standard explosive, which made it impossible to install a detonation checker.
The main body of the Grad shell was subsequently used for 9M22M and 9M22M1 Grad-P and Partizan.

The M-21OF single-chamber rocket engine consists of two tubes - one single-pipe charge of 9X111 solid fuel ballistic powder from RSI-12M in each chamber, but of different sizes - length, diameter and inner channels. Weight of two charges - 20.45 kg. The charge was developed by NII-6 (Chief Designer B.P. Fomin), renamed in 1969 in TsNIIKhM of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and now it is the State Research Center of the Russian Federation FSUE "Central Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics" (SSC RF FSUE "TsNIIKhM", Moscow). Years of development of the charge - 1959-1963.  FTSDT "Soyuz" (Dzerzhinsky, Moscow region) together with the Central Scientific and Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (TsNIIKhM) carried out works on improvement of technology of batch production that allowed to create and realize in-line mechanized lines for production of base charge 9XIII. This charge was used until 1968, the storage period was 40 years. For projectile M-21OF index 9M22U-1 they used charges made of powder RST-4K. The weight of two charges was 20.5 kg. The work on the charge was completed in 1968, and it consisted of two identical checkers of solid fuel ballistics. This was made possible thanks to the supply of longitudinal "zigs", which made it possible to abandon the "dry". This was made possible by the density of the new fuel, which was 4-5 per cent higher than the density of FSI-12M. The index of new charge is 9XIIIM2.

The rocket engine of projectile M-21OF index 9M22U was fully (100%) unified with the engines of rocket projectiles indexes 9M23, 9M23M and 9M22S (MZ-21), and with the engine of projectile 9M22M by 75%. There are also data that the missile part of missile 9M22S was completely borrowed from the M-21OF (9M22) fragmentation and phosphorus projectile. The M-21OF missile part of the unspecified index was used for missile set 9M519 1-8.

The above information shows that at least since the end of the 30s of the XX century, a well-known design approach was used to create the projectile - the use of a single missile part for different types of head units, which was later used in the designs of projectiles systems "Hurricane" and "Smerch".

For the first time, the following design solutions were introduced into the design of a rocket-propelled artillery shell:

  • Two-pipe single-chamber motor with single-pipe charges in each pipe with different sizes of internal channels - larger diameter in the head pipe (head stick) and smaller diameter in the tail pipe (tail stick); Previously published by the author data on double-chamber rocket motor for M-21OF projectile are unreliable [29. C.16-17;97].
  • Nozzle block with a nozzle cap with seven nozzle orifices (one central and six peripheral); Previously published by the author data on six and seven strabbed nozzles in the design of the nozzle cap for the M-21OF projectile are unreliable [94].
  • folding stabilizer unit blades, fixed after opening at 1 degree angle to the longitudinal axis of the projectile, which made it possible to create a package of rails with more than required number of rails, which in turn increased the power of the volley of one combat vehicle and provided a reduction in the number of combat vehicles involved to perform the same type of tasks in comparison with combat vehicles BM-24 and BM-14 of the previous generation;
  • cylindrical grooved bushings with a diamond-shaped pattern for the head end, which ensured the creation of more fragments when the explosive detonates, and thus their greater density and increased shattering effect on the target; the blanks (bushings) at the ends were connected by welding.

The initial rotation of the projectile is given by a special spiral groove in the guide rail, which includes the projectile's driving pin. The drive pin is located on the centering thickening of the tail pipe of the missile part, which serves to fix the projectile in the guide and prevent the projectile from rotating in it. The block-stabilizer became universal and later, with some modifications, was used for other projectiles of this caliber. Small and large brake rings were used for firing M-21OF rounds at intermediate ranges, which were installed between the fuse and the head end.

The stabilizer unit and contact cover of the M-21OF were used in the design of the 9M28F rocket part.

The main types of M-21 system ammunition are:

  • M-21OF (9M22U) with shrapnel-flagged head part;
  • MZ-21 (9M22S) with incendiary head part;
  • 9M28F with shrapnel-fluegasic head end; MZ-21 (9M22S) with incendiary head end;
  • 9M28S with an incendiary head end; 9M28S with an incendiary head end.
  • 9M28D with campaigning head part
  • 9M519-1...7 set of seven shells for creating radio interference;
  • 3M16 with a cassette head unit equipped with antipersonnel mines;
  • 9M28K with a cassette head unit fitted with anti-tank mines;

In the 90s - early 2000s in the interests of the foreign customer were developed the following long-range uncontrolled rockets, which have not yet been adopted by the Russian army.

  • 9M521 with a shrapnel-flagged head end;
  • 9M522 with detachable shrapnel-fluegasic head end;
  • 9M217 with cassette warhead, equipped with self- aiming warheads;
  • 9M218 with cassette warhead, equipped with detachable fragmentation warheads;

The use of the rocket part 9D51 (9D51.00.000) with a fastened charge made of high-pulse blending propellant in the composition of RS 9M521, 9M522, 9M217 and 9M218 allows to significantly increase the full thrust pulse and reduce the overall dimensions of the rocket part, thus creating conditions for increasing the range of fire and increasing the dimensions and weight of the head end part. Rocket part 9D51.00.000 provides delivery of head units for various purposes with mass of 21-25 kg for maximum range of 30...40 km.

The upgraded 9M521 rocket under the AZ-DS-48 index was adopted by the Russian Navy to equip landing ships of the Navy.

The following rockets were developed in the interests of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation:

  • 9M538 with a shrapnel-flagged head end;
  • 9M539 with detachable shrapnel-flagged head end;
  • 9M541 with cassette warhead in the outfit of cumulated and fragmentation warheads.

It is also possible to fire chemical projectiles, smoke-smoking projectiles 9M43 (ten projectiles of this type create a solid veil of smoke on an area of 50 hectares), agitation projectiles 9M28D, as well as lighting projectiles 9M42, illuminating a circle with a diameter of 1000m in the field from a height of 450-500 m for 90 seconds.

The firearm was also studied and possibly created. See Tactical and technical requirements No.0010282 (addition to TTT w/h 64176-C No.0010044-60) on the OKR "Fighting unit equipped with a firearm" to the rocket projectile "Grad" (electronic version).

In other countries, various versions of M-21OF and other types of 122 mm calibre projectiles have been developed. The following countries are known to have conducted and/or are in the process of conducting work on 122 mm calibre projectiles: Romania, China, Egypt, Italy, France together with Poland, South Africa, Turkey, Serbia, Sudan, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Yugoslavia (now non-existent), Iran, North Korea, Israel, Indonesia (1.2). In the United Arab Emirates, assembly works were organized for 122 mm RS.

Upgrade

In 1986 the Design Bureau "Creation of combat vehicle BM-21-1 122-mm RSZO 9K51 Grad" was completed. The customer of the work was the GRAU MO of the USSR. The main performer was Motovilikha plants (Perm). The modified chassis of the truck Ural-4320 was used as the base of the combat vehicle (see photo1, photo2, diagram). Unlike the BM-21 guide package, the BM-21-1 guide package began to be fitted with a heat shield to protect the pipes from direct sunlight. However, there were variants without a screen on a new type of chassis (photo). It is possible to fire from the BM-21-1 cab (designation - 2B17) without preparation of firing position, which provides the possibility of quick opening of fire. According to the corresponding decree, since January 1, 1987 the work on equipping the guide packages with heat shields as part of the artillery units mounted on the chassis of the Ural-375 series trucks was started. BM-21-1 is in service with ground forces of Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and possibly other countries.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, work was done to create an automated combat vehicle on the basis of BM-21-1. The designation of the new model is 2B17-1 (see diagram). The main method of 2B17-1 firing is from the cab without preparation in the top-geodetic view of the firing position with a slope of no more than 3 degrees, with guidance and firing without leaving the cab without using sighting devices. Aiming and firing from the cab is possible with the use of sighting equipment and firing from the cover with the remote control.

The 2B17-1 combat vehicle is equipped with the Automatic Guidance and Fire Control System (AHMS), which provides:

  • information technology interface with the control machine;
  • automated high-speed reception (transfer) of information and protection against unauthorized access, visual display of information on the computer screen and its storage;
  • autonomous top binding and orientation on the terrain with the display of the location on the computer screen;
  • Automated guidance package pointing, without leaving the cabin;
  • location coordinates determination using satellite navigation equipment.

Also, an automated version designated 2Б17М (see photo1, photo2) with protection of the information transfer device was developed. One of the versions of an automated combat vehicle is shown in photo3.

At the MVSV-2006 exhibition (Moscow) a mock-up of the projectile with an angled stabilization system for the Grad MLRS was demonstrated (see photo).

Recently the work has been done on the 2B26 RSZO Grad combat vehicle on the modified chassis of the KamAZ-5350 truck. 

Characteristics: 

Launch vehicle BМ-21 BМ-21-1
Chassis Ural-375D Ural-4320-02;
Ural-4320-10;
Ural-4320-31.
Dimensions, mm:
            - length (travelling)
            - width (travelling)
            - width (firing)
            - height (travelling)
            - maximum height
            - swinging motion unit (height 0°)
7,350
2,400
3,100
3,090
4,350
2,680
                     
      7,370;7,370;7,740
                      2,400
                      3,100
                      3,090
                      4,350
                      2,680
Distance from the centre of gravity of the loaded launch vehicle to the axle of the chassis balancer trolley at an elevation angle of 0°, mm -                       1,160
Weight, no more than, kg
     - launch vehicle (no rockets and crewn.
     - launch vehicle (loaded, crew)
 
10,870 
13,700 ± 1%
 
11,120;11,120;11,950
14,060;14,060;15,050
Maximum speed (loaded, paved roads), km/h. 75           75
Maximum fording (wave), mm 1,500           1,500
Ammunition 120 rockets           120 rockets
One-salvo footprint (one launch vehicle), ha:
            - personnel target
            - material
2.44
1.75
-
-
Number of tubes 40
Total ripple firing time, s - 20
Tube length, mm 3,000
Inner diameter of tube 122,4
Guide weight 23,4 -
Elevation,°:
            - minimum
            - maximum
0
55
Traverse,°:
            - right
            - left
70
102
Traverse (cabin zone),°. ±34
Minimum elevation angle (cabin zone), °. 11
Rate by electric drive:
            - elevation
            - azimuth
no less 5°/s
no less 7°/s
Manual drive speed (one rotation):
            - elevation
            - azimuth
4 minutes
6 minutes

Testing: 

From 9.04.1963 to 16.04.1963 at the Research Institute-100 were tested 122mm rocket projectile 9M22, fired from the rocket and barrel system, from the batch number OP-121-63g, manufactured at the Research Institute-147. The tests were conducted under the program ex 0641ss from 5.02.1963 NII-147 with the changes agreed with the representatives of NII-147.

The purpose of the tests was to determine the dispersion "of 122 mm rockets 9M22 /3OF10/ fired from the rocket and barrel system, when fired at maximum range. 122 mm of 9M22 projectiles in the standard equipment of the drawings Invent.4492, 4849 lots #OP-1-62, OP-(2)-63 and mock-ups of 122 mm of 9M22 projectiles in the inert equipment of the lot #OP-10-62 of NII-147 were delivered for testing. Charging of missile parts and assembly of projectiles were carried out at NII-100 in accordance with the requirements of the drawing Inventory 4847 with powder charges RSI-12/K with ignitors VGA-80-EZ.

"The gunpowder charges were prepared from VG-NDSI gunpowder of various attachments. MRV/V-588/, combat, with "O" and "M" installations, NITI-11 designs were used for heap tests. The tests were carried out with a guide rail, which is a half-open tube that allows the use of the gun charge and is mounted on the carriage of KS-12 anti-aircraft gun.

Before the 9M22 projectiles were fired to heap, the mock-ups were fired on the rocket and barrel system to select the weight of the barrel charge and determine the ballistic characteristics of the 9M22 projectile without and with the barrel charge.

9M22 shells were fired with and without the barrel charge at a heap rate of 2 groups (by 7 rounds in a group) for the maximum range with the guide rail elevation angle of 50°. The temperature of the barrel and powder charges of 9M22 shells was within +20° ± 3°С".

In the conclusions of NIIII-100 it was stated that "the presented 9M22 rounds of the batch No. OP-121-63 of NII-147 with the barrel charge at the firing from the rocket and barrel system showed better results in the range and quantity of the combat than 9M22 rounds without the barrel charge".

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Data from Report reports on the work of Tula State Research and Production Institute of Precision Engineering (now NPO SPLAV, Tula).

1966

">

Battle unit, equipped with a firearm to the rocket projectile "Grad", product 9M22S (theme НВ6-001-66)

A combat unit equipped with a flamethrower is intended to defeat the enemy's manpower outside the shelter, in open trenches, passages and trenches, as well as its combat equipment. Defeat is carried out both by direct hitting and by creating mass hot spots of fire. Shots shall be fired from an armed Grad projectile fighting vehicle.

In 1966, specifications for the processing of combat unit elements were developed and issued to related organizations.  Working drawings of two versions of a combat unit were developed. The first prototypes of combat units (50 pieces of each variant) were manufactured and sent for testing in the hours 33491. Stand and test-bed tests in the amount of 42 pcs. were conducted.

In 1967, it was necessary to present a technical design of a combat unit with a justification for the choice of a fire-mixture and to manufacture 500 rounds for range tests.

"Battle unit equipped with a fire mixer to a portable jet projectile (9M22M), article 9M22MS".

A combat unit equipped with a flamethrower is intended to engage, in conditions of positive temperatures and dry seasons, enemy manpower outside the shelter, in open trenches, passages and trenches, as well as its combat equipment located within the range of fire. Defeat is caused both by direct hitting and by creating fire foci.

In 1966, in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Defense of 15.UII.66g ¹ 490 was developed and issued to adjacent organizations to test elements of the combat unit. The company produced prototypes and conducted bench, bench and flight tests in the volume of 45 products with positive results. The combat unit is equipped with the MSO fire mixer and the flame-retardant explosive charge based on yellow phosphorus, provides crushing, scattering and ignition of the fire mixer under conditions of positive temperatures in the dry season, at speeds of meeting the obstacle of about 400 m/sec. The crushing of the fire mixture into pieces weighing 3-5g meets the requirements for fire shells. Maximum firing range is 9940m. Range of fire at VD-X = I/200; direction Vb-X = 1/100.

Manufactured and delivered in the part 33491 100 pieces, of which: for the control tests - 30 pieces, for the delivery tests - 70 pieces.

Technical report, technical and operational documentation was sent to 64176-C and 6 Main Department of MOS.

Jet chemical projectiles 9M23 in the equipment with the substance R-33 with a radio detonator 9E310 and 9M23M in the equipment with the substance R-35 with a shock 9E210 fuse to the system "Grad".

The work was carried out to eliminate drawbacks in 9M23, 9M23M and 9E310 rounds according to the list stated in the report of the Range and Army Test Commission.

The technological process of internal coating of the projectile was worked out, permissible defects of the weld and welding mode were established. Pilot samples were produced, defects in technical documentation were eliminated.

The 9E310 radio detonator was modified to ensure its durability and tightness.

The report on the performed improvements, a set of technical and operational documentation and posters of the projectile and radio detonator were sent to 64176-C and 6 Main Department of MOS.

Rendering technical assistance to "Stamp" and "Sibselmash" plants in manufacturing of "Grad" projectile.

Throughout the year, the Institute's specialists provided technical assistance to the factories in serial production of shells at the "Stamp" plant and mastering the production of shells at the "Sibselmash" plant.

The works on improvement of technological processes carried out jointly with "Shtamp" plant allowed to reduce labour input and prime cost of shell production and to ensure fulfillment of the annual plan.

The Institute produced a pilot batch of shells that allowed to significantly reduce the labor intensity and cost of manufacturing the projectile and ensure the implementation of the annual plan.

The Institute has produced a pilot batch of combat unit shells made of 16 mm thick billets instead of 22 mm thick. The technological process was given to the plant that manufactures the tooling for its introduction into production. Savings of metal will make 0,5 kg per product.

Together with the plant "Stamp" the normalization of blanks of cone frames with heating by high frequency currents instead of the furnace is implemented. Improvement of quality of heat treatment of blanks and increase of labour productivity is achieved.

Technical documentation for casting on smelted models of lattice and intermediate and tail aperture was developed and issued to the plant for implementation.

The technological process of coating the intermediate aperture by means of galvanizing with subsequent phosphating and impregnation with varnish AV-4 with dye is worked out.

Jointly with the plant there were carried out works on implementation, for operation 3 and 4 of the engine tube hoods, the process of sludge-free etching and phosphating on AMF-8 unit.

Jointly with the plant there were developed organizational and technical measures for 1966-1967 aimed at reduction of defect and improvement of quality. As a result of their implementation, losses from defects were reduced by 40% in comparison with 1965.

Labor intensity of "Grad" projectile production at "Stamp" plant was reduced in 1966 from 72 n/hour to 64.3 n/hour, the cost price was 218.5 rubles (according to the data for the III quarter of 1966) with the planned - 296.06 rubles.

The Institute, together with TNITI and the "Stamp" plant, developed measures aimed at further reduction of labor intensity and prime cost of the "Grad" shell by introducing mechanization and automation of main and auxiliary works, reduction of metal consumption, improvement of labor organization. Introduction of these measures allows to reduce labour intensity of manufacture in 1967 to 40 n/hour and to bring it in prospect to 15 n/hour.

A team of the Institute's specialists provided technical assistance to the Sibselmash plant in mastering the production and manufacturing the installed batch. The plant mastered and adjusted the production of rockets of "Grad" system.

The developed measures on decrease in cost price of products allow to receive in 1967 considerable economic effect: (proceeding from volume of manufactures in 1967): on 122-mm jet projectile "Grad" - 3990,0 t.r.

On the topic "Creation of an automatic line for heat treatment of HFI (hardening and tempering) of semi-finished products of engine housings of the rocket non-controlled projectile "Grad" (type TM6-409-65) in 1966, working drawings of the automatic line were developed.

The line automatically performs hardening of parts and tempering. Functions of workers at work on the line are reduced to loading and unloading the line, to control and monitor its operation.

The use of the line will reduce the labor intensity of 1000 billets at plant № 176 from 181.6 hours / hr to 50 hours or 3.6 times. In 1967 it was planned to produce a prototype of the line.

1967

Battle unit, equipped with a firearm to the rocket projectile "Grad", product 9M22S (theme НВ6-001-66)

A combat unit equipped with a flamethrower is intended to defeat the enemy's manpower outside the shelter, in open trenches, passages and trenches, as well as its combat equipment. Defeat is carried out both by direct hitting and by creating mass hot spots of fire. Shots shall be fired from an armed Grad projectile fighting vehicle.

By joint decision of the Ministry of Defence and the Military Academy of the Russian Federation of March 25, 1967 (out. No. 6-1451 of 29.3.1967), a combat unit equipped with electronic elements shall be tested.

In 1967, working drawings of two versions of the combat unit were developed. Manufactured and tested in h.p. 33491 prototypes of 50 pieces each version. Approved technical design for a combat unit equipped with electronic elements (Decision of the sub-section number 1 of section number 1 of the STS MOP ex. 18/693ss of 25.12.1967; conclusion of parts 64176-D, ex. a/1028779ss of 21.12.1967).

In 1968, it is necessary to carry out revision of the combat unit to eliminate the shortcomings noted in the conclusion in Part 64176-D on the technical project. To produce 500 projectiles for range tests and to issue recommendations on range tests.

In 1968, research will be carried out on the development of multilateral missile systems.

Development of the design and manufacturing technology of the Grad projectile warhead from a tubular billet (topic TT6-629-67)

In accordance with the approved methodical plan of work on this topic, drawings and technology for the shell body and cold-rolled pipes have been developed.

In accordance with the agreed specifications, the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant supplied a pilot batch of cold-rolled pipes, from which prototype billets were manufactured.

A schedule was developed and approved by the Ministry and the GRAU to produce a batch of billets at Stamp and Sibselmash plants with completion of work in October 1968.

Introduction of the new technology of production of blanks of combat unit allows to keep the duration of the production cycle (by 20 operations), to increase the coefficient of metal usage from 0.6 to 0.84 and to reduce labour intensity of one piece more than 1 n/hour.

For successful performance of the topic it is necessary to accelerate the construction of walls at the institute "Geodesy" for firing tests.

Provision of technical assistance to Stamp, Sibtextilmash and Sibselmash plants in the manufacture of Grad projectiles.

Throughout the year, the Institute's specialists provided technical assistance in the mass production of projectiles at the plants "Stamp", "Sibtextilmash" and "Sibselmash".

The Institute together with TNITI and "Shtamp" plants developed a set of measures aimed at further reduction of labour intensity, prime cost and increase of technical level of "Grad" projectile production due to implementation of mechanization and automation of main and auxiliary works, reduction of metal consumption, improvement of labor organization.

During 1967 the following measures were implemented at "Stamp" plant with the participation of our specialists from this complex:

  1. Unified technological process of manufacturing pipe blanks. The introduction of this process has reduced the number of changeovers and the range of stamping tools and reduced rejects in operations.
  2. The process of manufacturing the tail, intermediate and lattice diaphragms using the smelted-model casting process. The economic effect was 5850 rubles. On the program.
  3. The process of cutting 4-shaped grooves in the fairing on the die instead of milling with an annual economic effect of 6665 rubles.
  4. Carbide tool on the last hoods in the production of pipes and combat units. In order to assist the Institute made for the plant "Stamp" 34 carbide matrixes.

Laboratory and flight tests of a pilot batch of "Grad" shells with thermal protection coat TP-15AS instead of the existing B-58 were conducted with positive results. Technical documentation was developed and issued for production of a pilot batch at the "Stamp" plant.

In order to eliminate the failure of thread on the lid-nozzle technology has been developed, as well as developed for the plant "Stamp" drawings of the improved design of the platform for the manufacture of plastic parts.

As a result of introduction of measures labor input of manufacture of a projectile "Grad" at factory "Stamp" it is lowered for 1967 from 64,3 n/hour. Up to 40 n/hour, the prime cost is 180 rubles.

At "Sibtextilmash" plant a team of specialists from the Institute and the plant organized serial production of stamped blanks of pipes and combat parts of the shell "Grad".

At the same time, a complex of organizational and technical measures aimed at reducing labor intensity with a reduction of losses from defects in the production of blanks was developed and implemented.

Implementation of works on the complex made it possible to ensure that in 1967 Sibtextilmash plant fulfilled its plan for the production of stamped billets, to reduce labor intensity from 16 n/hour to 10.2 n/hour and to reduce losses from defective products on the head pipe from 23.3% to 7.1%, on the tail pipe from 14.8% to 7.3% and on the body of the combat unit from 9.4% to 0.5%.

Specialists of the Institute and the plant have mastered serial production of the Grad projectile at the Sibselmash plant.

In order to reduce labor intensity and increase the technical level of production through the organization of flow lines in the mechanical and assembly areas, the improvement of technological processes has been developed and partially implemented a set of organizational and technical measures.

Introduction of measures allowed "Sibselmash" plant to decrease labour intensity of "Grad" projectile production in 1967 from 88 n/hour to 41 n/hour.

The Institute developed and issued to the plants the directive technological process of manufacturing "Grad" projectile with artillery labor intensity of 20.7 n/hour.

Specialists of the Institute together with the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant have developed technological conditions, manufactured and supplied cold rolled pipes for fairing for implementation by "Stamp" and "Sibselmash" plants.

To prepare the production of shell 9M23 at the "Sibselmash" plant the Institute prepared and sent the technical documentation for mechanical and press processing, coating and carbon dioxide welding, as well as drawings of the welding station with the installation for automatic welding in the carbon dioxide environment.

In order to speed up the preparation of production, the plant "Sibselmash" received a complex unit for welding products 9M23.

On the subject of creation of automatic line for heat treatment of HFI (hardening and tempering of semi-finished products of projectile engine cases "Grad" (subject TM6-409-65) a sample line model Yat1 for the plant "Stamp" was made.

After debugging and testing the line will be supplied to the plant for implementation in production.

The line provides for hardening of parts and subsequent tempering operations.

The line is equipped with loading and unloading devices.

Application of the line allowed to reduce labor intensity of heat treatment of 1000 shell blanks from 181.6 to 50 people/hour or 3.6 times.

1968

Creation of a design of a combat unit with increased fragmentation effect for Grad rockets (topic HB6-170-68)

In 1968, on the basis of theoretical studies were developed working drawings, manufactured and tested combat units:

  • with rational crushing into optimal splinters by using a predetermined crushing - 12 pcs;
  • with ready ball-shaped splinters - 6 pcs;
  • improved distribution of ball splinters in the flying sphere - 6 pcs;
  • use of new BBs with improved characteristics - 5 pcs;
  • with ready arrow-shaped splinters - 10 pcs.

The results of the tests show that the experimental combat units are 1.3-1.5 times larger in shrapnel effect than the M-21OF projectile combat units, and the combat units with arrow-shaped elements are 1.7 times larger.

The work was to be completed in the III quarter of 1969.

The combat unit, equipped with a firearm, to the rocket projectile "Grad" (article 9M22S, theme HB6-001-66).

According to a joint decision of the Ministry of Defense and B.H. 64176 of March 25, 1967 (out. № 6-1451 of 29/III-67) is carried out development of an incendiary combat unit equipped with electronic elements. Ignition fighting unit is designed to create mass foci of fire.

In 1968 the factory stage of testing in the amount of 200 shots with positive results and recommendations for range testing was completed. (ref. V.ch. 64176-D No. a/775727 of 29/UII-68, ref. TGNIITM No. 3430 of 30/IU-68).

A polygon batch of 500 pieces was produced and delivered. The polygon tests were completed with positive results and recommendation to the Soviet Army with the establishment of the shortcomings noted by the commission for polygon tests (out. E.H. 33491 No. 002814 of 31/X-68).

Elimination of drawbacks and verification of proposals of the commission on conducting polygon tests is carried out according to plans approved by the Ministry of Mechanical Engineering and Part 64176-C and should be completed in the II quarter of 1969 (out. TGNIITM № 7833 of II/XI-68 and № 81 of 8/I-69).

For preparation of serial production the necessary technical documentation was sent to the plants.

According to data from November 1997, India's ammunition industry included "nine factories of various profiles that almost fully meet the needs of the national armed forces: 125- and 105-mm tank shells, 130-, 106-, 105- and 75-mm artillery shells, 122-mm NUR for BM-21 type MLRSs, anti-aircraft shells, mines, aircraft bombs, small arms ammunition of all calibres, various types of powder and explosives, including solid propellant for rocket engines".

In 2004, a researcher of the Research Institute "Search" Andreev Valentin Vasilyevich was awarded the prize named after S.I. Mosin for his work on the topic: "Electronic programmable fuses and remote platoon equipment of the modernized RSZO" Grad ", Research Institute" Search ".

In 2012, the General Director of FCP "Alexinsky Chemical Combine" Alyokhin Evgeny V. Mosin was awarded the prize named after S.I. for his work on the topic: "Creation of a new press-fiber thermal protection material based on glass fibers to ensure increased resource and reliability of RSZO Grad, Smerch, etc.".

According to the data from 2018, at the production facilities of the Joint Stock Company "Machine-Building Plant "Stamp" named after B.L. Vannikov" (Tula) works on the head units to RSZO "Grad" are carried out.

Sources: 

  1. АП РФ (Архив Президента Российской Федерации). Ф.93. Коллекция постановлений. Постановление Совета Министров СССР от 28.03.1963 г. №372-130 “О принятии на вооружение Советской Армии полевой реактивной системы “Град”.
  2. Белов А.Г. ПРОЛЕТАРСКИЙ РАЙОН ГОРОДА ТУЛЫ: ВЧЕРА, СЕГОДНЯ, ЗАВТРА. - Тула: "Гриф и К", 2004. - С. 80.
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  32. Дополнение № 221/15/ЭП к паспорту экспортного облика № 1578/00/НЭК 122-мм осколочно-фугасный неуправляемый реактивный снаряд 9М521 с головной частью повышенного могущества к реактивным системам залпового огня “Град”, “Град-1”, “Град-В”». Утверждён 20.03.2015 г. – С. 5. Копия.
  33. Дополнение № 222/15/ЭП к паспорту экспортного облика № 2343/00/НЭК 122-мм реактивный снаряд 9М218 с кумулятивными осколочными боевыми элементами к реактивным системам залпового огня “Град”, “Град-1”, “Град-В”». Утверждён 20.03.2015 г. – С. 3,4. Копия.
  34. Дополнение № 223/15/ЭП к паспорту экспортного облика № 1196/11/ЭП. 122-мм неуправляемый реактивный снаряд 9М522 с отделяемой осколочно-фугасной боевой частью к реактивной системе залпового огня типа “Град”. Утверждён 20.03.2015 г. – С. 4. Копия.
  35. Дополнение №2807/09/НЭП к паспорту экспортного облика №2344/00/НЭК 122-мм реактивного снаряда 9М217 с самоприцеливающимся боевым элементом к реактивным системам залпового огня “Град”, “Град-1”, “Град-В” в части уточнения формулировки наименования продукции военного назначения и в части изменения комплектности поставки. Окончательно согласовано: 06.05.2009 г. Копия.
  36. Дополнение №2806/09/НЭП к рекламному паспорту №2338/00/НЭК 122-мм реактивного снаряда 9М217 с самоприцеливающимся боевым элементом к реактивным системам залпового огня “Град”, “Град-1”, “Град-В” в части уточнения формулировки наименования продукции военного назначения и в части изменения комплектности поставки. Окончательно согласовано: 06.05.2009 г. Копия.
  37. Дополнение №2805/09/НЭП к паспорту экспортного облика №2343/00/НЭК 122-мм реактивного снаряда 9М218 с кумулятивными осколочными боевыми элементами к реактивным системам залпового огня “Град”, “Град-1”, “Град-В” в части уточнения формулировки наименования продукции военного назначения и в части изменения комплектности поставки. Окончательно согласовано: 06.05.2009 г. Копия.
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