Multiple rocket launcher

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"Multiple Launch Rocket System" redirects here. For the U.S. Army system known as "MLRS", see M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System.
A hwacha in a museum.
BM-13 Katyusha
American T34 Calliope in action
Launcher 9P140 of 220-mm multiple rocket launching system 9K57 BM-27 Uragan in Saint-Petersburg Artillery museum
BM-30 Smerch 300mm rocket launcher in raised position

A multiple rocket launcher (MRL) is a type of unguided rocket artillery system. Like other rocket artillery, multiple rocket launchers are less accurate and have a much lower (sustained) rate of fire than batteries of traditional artillery guns. However, they have the capability of simultaneously dropping many hundreds of kilograms of explosive, with devastating effect.


The beginning model of multiple rocket launcher was created in Ming China which used black gunpowder to accelerate the projectiles that were basically arrows with small fuel tanks. The hwacha, considered as world's first multiple rocket launcher, was a technological breakthrough [1] consisted of a two-wheeled launch pad capable of firing up to 200 Singijeon (a type of fire arrow rocket),[1][2] used during the Joseon Dynasty(History of Korea) (1392–1897). The first self-propelled multiple rocket launchers — and arguably the most famous — were the Soviet BM-13 Katyushas, first used during World War II and exported to Soviet allies afterwards. They were simple systems in which a rack of launch rails was mounted on the back of a truck. This set the template for modern multiple rocket launchers. The Americans mounted tubular launchers atop M4 Sherman tanks to create the T34 Calliope rocket launching tank, only used in small numbers, as their closest equivalent to the Katyusha.

Current usage[edit]

Multiple rocket launchers equipped on trucks can serve as mobile anti-aircraft batteries. These launchers are now equipped with radar and guiding systems, allowing more accurate shots.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kim, Myung Oak; Jaffe, Sam (2010). The new Korea: an inside look at South Korea's economic rise. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-8144-1489-7. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  2. ^ Michael E. Haskew, Christer Joregensen, Eric Niderost, Chris McNab (2008). Fighting techniques of the Oriental world, AD 1200–1860: equipment, combat skills, and tactics. Macmillan. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-312-38696-2. Retrieved 2012-05-30.