M-87 Orkan

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M87 LRSV
SVLR M-87 Orkan.jpg
Croatian M87 Orkan in Museum
Type Self-propelled multiple rocket launcher
Place of origin  Yugoslavia  Serbia
Production history
Designer Military Technical Institute Belgrade
Specifications
Weight 32t
Length 9 m (29 ft 6 in)
Width 2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)
Height 3.84 m (12 ft 7 in)
Crew 5

Main
armament
262 mm x 12
Orkan ll x 4
Speed 80 km/h (50 mph)

The M-87 Orkan is a Yugoslavian self-propelled multiple rocket launcher. The generic M-87 project was configured with 12 launch tubes mounted on a FAP 2832 truck. It has a range of about 50 km, able to deliver warheads, anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Very few of these were ever built, The production of Orkan M-87 ceased in the early 1990s due to break-up of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

History[edit]

Development started as a joint Iraqi and SFRY project under the name of KOL-15. In early talks with Iraq, Yugoslavia offered two options:[1]

  • Development of a MRL with 12 barrels and a 50 km range
  • Development of a MRL with 4 barrels and a 120 km range

Iraq chose the first option as did Yugoslavia.

The introduction to operational units of Yugoslav's peoples Army in 1987, the Orkan M-87 MRL had the longest range (50 km) of all Multiple rocket launchers in the world.[citation needed]

At the start of development two prototypes where built: one for Yugoslavia and one for Iraq. In accordance with requests from purchasers rockets where developed with cluster warheads. According to the chief operating officer of the Artillery department of Military Technical Institute Professor Obrad Vucurovic,[2] Orkan was never a copy of any previous designs. The Yugoslav doctrine when developing the system was based on the premise that countries who copy designs are at least five years behind of those who have the weapons developed.[1]

Characteristics[edit]

One battery[3] of M-87 Orkans consist of:

  • four 8×8 launchers
  • four 8×8 resupply vehicles (each with 24 reload rockets)
  • one 8×8 command post vehicle
  • two 4×4 topographic survey light vehicles
  • two 4×4 observation post light vehicles
  • one 4×4 meteorological survey vehicle

The FAP 2832 vehicle with its base platform is fitted with a central tyre pressure regulation system which is operated by the driver from within the cab, and to provide a more stable firing platform four stabilisers are lowered to the ground by remote control one at either side to the rear of the second roadwheel and two at the very rear. When travelling, the launcher is traversed to the front and the whole launcher is covered by a tarpaulin cover with integral bows.

Rockets[edit]

The rocket is 4.6 metres long and it is packed in a glass-ceramic housing and transported by the vehicle. Rockets are re-loaded by the FAP 3232 with a built-in crane. The rocket speed is 1000 m/s. Extended range rockets are 4.88 m long and weigh 404 kg. Extended range rockets are produced for a new Serbian version of the Orkan by Edepro Belgrade. A battery of 4 launchers with 16 barrels and 192 rockets cover a target area of 3–4 km².[4]

The following types of rockets are known:[4][5][6]

  • M-87-APHE with a fragmentation warhead to 91 kg. Range 50 km.
  • M-87-APHE-ER with a fragmentation warhead to 91 kg. Range 65 km.
  • M-87-PFHE-ER pre-fragmented warhead containing double-size balls. Range 65 km.
  • M-87-ICM-AT with 288 piece shaped charge bomblets type KB-2 . Range 50 km.
  • M-87-ICM AP with 420 piece splinter bomblets. Range 50 km.
  • M-87-AT with 24 piece YU-S-AT (KPOM) mines with Magnetos. Range 50 km.

Some of rockets are not longer in production.

Features[edit]

Unique features at the time of introduction (1987) when compared to other MRLs operational at the time include:[4][7]

  • Ability to disperse anti-tank or anti-personnel mines up to 50 km from the firing location.
  • Semi-automatic loading.

Loading was semi-automatic from the vehicle with reserve rockets. Rockets were carried by crane and lowered onto the loading device after which the rocket was automatically loaded in barrel.

  • Preparations to fire take two minutes.
  • Automatic leveling. Automatic Leveling of weapon was very precise. The system has a TV camera corrector for correcting missile path.

The system for automatic levelling would record I,II and III fired missile paths then navigate the barrels as needed.

  • Automatic barrel sight.
  • Hard chromed barrels without the need for cleaning.
  • Mines KB-2 with wings and parachutes with two fuses (magnetic and for self-destruction after 24 hours)[1]

According to the chief operating officer of the Artillery department of Military Technical Institute Professor Obrad Vucurovic,[2] Orkan's main feature was the ability to disperse anti-tank or anti-personnel mines from 5 to 50 km from the firing location.

Modifications and versions[edit]

There where few modifications of Orkan M-87:

  1. First modification was made by Army of Republic of Srpska with 2 barrels placed on Luna R-65 luncher(ZIL-135).
  2. FR Yugoslavia modified Krupp M-418/37 and placed two Orkan barrels on it.
  3. Serbia developed the M-96 Orkan II modification. The simplest solution was to integrate 4 262mm launch tubes on a ZIL-135 launcher as it required minimum investment. The basic purpose of these modified launchers can be restored.[8] New rockets are developed increasing range of Orkan II to 65 km.[9] New modular long range MLRS is in development by VTI Belgrade, Serbia intended to replace Orkan 1 and Orkan 2 with completely new MLRS. New rockets family with 262-392mm caliber would have range prospectively of 65,90 and up to 150 km based on new rocket engines which are already tested.[10]
  4. Orkan CER developed by Yugoimport SDPR based on KamAZ-6350[6]
  5. Dominator M2/12 MLRS multi-caliber multiple launch rocket system developed by Yugoimport SDPR uses 16 262mm Orkan rockets [11]

Operational history[edit]

Serbs from Croatia used it to attack military targets in Croatia from 1992. After Operation Flash in 1995, it was used alongside cluster munitions by the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) to target Croatian civilians as an act of retaliation during the Croatian War of Independence.[12]

Operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

  •  Yugoslavia- 9 + 1 prototype[1][17]
  •  Iraq- 1 prototype and 4 Orkan launchers called "Ababeel 50" + 4 reload vehicles. 4 pcs showed in military parade in Iraq.[18][19] Not in use anymore.


See also[edit]

References[edit]