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Tornado-G 122mm MLRS

Multiple Launch Rocket System - Russia

Tornado G 122mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Russia Russian army defence industry military technology 925 001


The Tornado-G MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System ) is an improved version of the standard Russian-made 122mm BM-21 rocket launcher system based on a Kamaz or Ural-4320 truck. The Tornado-G has been designed to be fully automatic. The operating crew has been reduced to three men compared to the six-man crew of the BM-21 Grad. Previously, the BM-21 could be loaded only from the rear and there was no automatic system: everything has to be done by the cabin crew. The Tornado-G was intended to replace the old BM-21 Grad rocket launcher system. The Tornado-G is three times more efficient than its predecessors. Currently, the Tornado-G has been in service with the Russian army since 2011. The Tornado-G was demonstrated for the first time during a military exercise in 2012. On December 23, 2019, Russian Company Tecmash Group announced an upgrade for the 122mm Tornado-G multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS). On November 2022, it was announced that Russian armed forces have deployed Tornado-G for combat operations in Ukraine. Citing information published on April 25, 2023, Ukrainian armed forces have captured an undisclosed number of Russian Tornado-G which are used now against Russian troops. 

Tornado-G variants:

- BM-21 "Grad": Original 40-round launcher, mounted on a Ural-375D truck.
- BM-21-1: Some systems use the Ural-43201 5-t truck chassis with a 210hp KamAZ-740 diesel engine.
2B17 or also BM-21-1: This upgrade was presented for the first time in 2003 and was developed by Motovilikha Plants from Perm. The system is fitted with a satellite navigation system NAP SNS, an automated fire control system ASUNO, APP laying system and can fire a new generation of rockets with a range of 40 km. The truck is the Ural-43201.
- 9P138 "Grad-1": lighter 36-round version, mounted on a six-by-six ZIL-131 chassis. The vehicle with supporting equipment (rockets, transporter 9T450 and resupply truck 9F380) is referred to as complex 9K55. The 9P138 can only use "short-range" rockets with a range of 15 km. He used to be known in the West as BM-21b or M1976.
- BM-21V "Grad-V" (Vozdushnodesantiy - 'airborne') (NATO designation M1975): Developed for airborne troops in 1969. A GAZ-66B four-by-four truck chassis is fitted with a 12-round 122 mm rocket launcher. The vehicle is sturdy enough to be air-dropped. Parts of the vehicle such as the canvas cab roof can be taken off or folded down to reduce its size during transit. Like the BM-21, the BM-21V has stabilizing jacks on the rear of the vehicle for support when firing. The launch vehicle has the industrial name 9P125.
- 9A51 "Prima": 50-round launcher on a Ural-4320 5t chassis. The vehicle together with fire control equipment, the ammunition transporter TZM 9T232M and the new rocket 9M53F is referred to as complex 9K59. Apparently, only a small number was produced.
- 9K132 "Grad-P": Single-round man-portable launcher, which can be reloaded and used again. The rocket itself is a 122mm fin-stabilized rocket, armed with any of the warheads used on BM-21 rockets. The weapon is not often used by the Russian military but is popular with paramilitary and guerrilla forces.
- BM-21PD "Damba" (Protivodiversionnyi): 40-round launcher mounted on Ural-375D or 43201 truck. Developed for protection of naval bases against underwater infiltrations, uses special ammunition PRS-60 (Protivodiversionnyi Reaktivnyi Snaryad). The vehicle together with the ammunition transporter is referred to as the complex DP-62 "Damba".
- A-215 "Grad-M": 22-round naval version, entered service in 1978.

Technical Data

The Tornado-G is equipped with a bank of 40 launch tubes 122 mm arranged in a rectangular shape that can be turned away from the unprotected cab. The rocket tube arrangement is a single rectangular bank of four layers each with 10 tubes. The roof of the Tornado-G crew cab is fitted with a small antenna for the GLONASS satellite navigation system. It can fire upgraded 122 mm Grad HE-Frag and HE/HEAT rocket variants, 9M538, 9M539, and 9M541. The new rocket has a much longer warhead section but without any increase in the overall length. The rockets have a maximum range of 30 km. According to Russian military sources, the new rockets of the Tornado-G could have a maximum firing range of 90 km. The 9M538 FRAG is a High-Explosive Fragmentation rocket with a length of 2.64 m, shorter than the previous 122 mm rocket 9M521 HE Frag for BM-21, which has a total length of 2.84 m. The 9M539 HE fragmentation rocket and the 9M541 submunitions rocket use a similar design. The 9M541 rocket now has 70 dual-purpose HE/high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) sub-munitions instead of the previous 45.
Design and protection
The design of the Tornado-G is similar to the previous version of the BM-21, it uses the same truck chassis with the crew cab a the front and the rocket launcher system mounted at the rear. The cabin truck of Tornado-G is not protected. The launch vehicle's cabin accommodates the launch preparation and firing equipment. Individual round, selective ripple, or salvo firing is possible from either the cab or from a remote-control unit connected to the vehicle via a 60 m cable.  According to Russian military sources, the crew could be reduced from 3 to 2.
The Tornado-G consists of a Ural-4320 truck chassis with a rocket launcher system mounted at the rear of the chassis. The truck Ural-4320 is motorized with a water-cooled V-8 240 hp. gasoline engine YaMZ-238M2 engine. The Tornado-G can run at a maximum road speed of 82 km/h with a maximum road range of 800 kilometers. The truck can cross fords up to 1.5 m deep.
The truck of the Tornado-G has a collapsible canvas cab, removable doors and windscreen, telescopic steering wheel, and tie-down points for aiding parachute dropping and landing. A panoramic telescope can be used for sighting. The Tornado-G is based on the BM-21 Grad but equipped with a satellite guidance system. The weapons system is equipped with an automated laying and fire control system, along with autonomous satellite navigation and positioning system.
Tornado G 122mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Russia Russian army defence industry military technology details 925 001
The Tornado-G is equipped with a new satellite guidance system.
Combat use
According to the Russian manufacturer, the new MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Tornado-G is designed to strike armored vehicles, artillery mortar batteries, and command posts. The striking is increased to 40 kilometers. The Tornado-G used new ammunition and can strike multiple targets. The system is able to strike not only a single target but also a group of targets like columns, enemy concentration, and deployment area.


Armament Armor
40 launch tubes 122 mm caliber No armor
Country users Weight
Russia, Ukraine 14,000 kg
Designer Country Speed truck
Russia 85 km/h
Accessories Range truck
Satellite guidance system, panoramic telescope 650 km
Crew Dimensions
3 or 2 Length: 7.35 m; Width: 2.40 m; Height: 3.09 m

Details View

Tornado G 122mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Russia Russian army defence industry front view 002 Tornado G 122mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Russia Russian army defence industry rear view 002
Tornado G 122mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Russia Russian army defence industry left side view 002 Tornado G 122mm MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System Russia Russian army defence industry right side view 002

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