9A52-4 Tornado

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9A52-4 Tornado REA 2009.jpg
9A52-4 launcher vehicle (right) and 9T234-4 reloading vehicle (left), Perm, RussianExpoArms, 2009.
Type Multiple rocket launcher
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service 2014 - present
Production history
Designer Motovilikha Plants
Designed 2000s
Manufacturer НПО "Сплав"[1]
Produced 2011 - present
Number built at least 76 units in service
Variants 9A53-G Tornado, 9A53-U Tornado, 9A53-S Tornado
Weight 24.65 t
Length 11.2 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 3.15 m
Crew 2

Caliber 122mm/220mm/300mm
Barrels 15/8/6
Maximum firing range 90 km

9M55 or 9M528 rockets
Engine KamAZ-740.50.360 diesel
360 hp
Suspension 8×8 wheeled
1000 km
Speed 90 km/h

The 9A52-4 Tornado is Russia's newest universal multiple rocket launcher. It was designed as a lightweight and universal version of the BM-30 Smerch, dubbed 9A52-2. It was first unveiled in 2007 as a more strategically and tactically mobile launcher, albeit at the expense of a slight reduction in firepower. This model is aimed at replacing the previous generation of Russian multiple rocket launchers, including BM-21 Grad, BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch. Currently the sole operator is Russian Ground Forces. A version will be proposed for export.[citation needed]


The 9A52-4 Tornado system is based on the chassis of the KamAZ-63501 8x8 military truck, which provides good tactical mobility. It is equipped with a single container with six launcher tubes for 300-mm rockets, which can fire all current Smerch rockets, including HE-FRAG, incendiary, thermobaric, cluster with anti-personnel or anti-tank mines. Cluster rounds may also carry self-targeting anti-tank munitions. The 800 kg standard rocket has a maximum range of 90 km. A range and direction correction system provides better accuracy compared to its predecessors.

The 9A52-4 can launch rockets singularly, by a partial ripple or by a full salvo, which can cover an area of 32 hectares. A full salvo can be fired within 20 seconds. The 9A52-4 launching vehicle can be reloaded within 8 minutes. Launcher pods are designed for use with 122-mm and 220-mm rockets.

The weapons system is equipped with an automated laying and fire control system, along with an autonomous satellite navigation and positioning system. Positioning and firing data are exchanged between the launch vehicle and the command vehicle.


Russian ground forces received about 30 Tornado-G systems in 2012, replacing the BM-21 Grad. The improved Tornado-S is being upgraded with the special GLONASS satellite navigation system used in the Smerch missile system. The Tornado-S will have guided rocket rounds enabling it to fire out to 72 miles (120 km). The Tornado-S will have a longer range and increased effectiveness, due to the use of new warhead payloads and a reduced launch readiness time of just three minutes. The Tornado-G entered series production in 2013.[2] The system entered service with the Russian armed forces in 2014.[3]


The 9A52-4 Tornado system is a lightweight rocket launcher. There are two other systems; a modular MLRS based on the MZKT-79306 truck, which can carry two BM-27 Uragan or BM-30 Smerch launcher modules, and one based on the Kamaz 6x6 truck. The "Tornado-G" system is an upgrade package for the existing BM-21 Grad. The Russian government ordered 36 new "Tornado-G" based on the Kamaz 6x6 chassis, instead of the old systems based on the Ural-4320 truck.

9A53-4 should not be confused with other systems in the similarly denoted Tornado family:

  • 9A53-G Tornado (2x15 1x40 One 122mm Upgraded BM-21 "Grad" Multiple Rocket Launcher Module, based on a Kamaz Truck or on a Ural-4320).
  • 9A53-U Tornado (2x8 2x6 220mm Upgraded BM-27 "Uragan" Multiple Rocket Launcher Modules, based on a MZKT-79306).
  • 9A53-S Tornado (2x6 2x4 300mm Upgraded BM-30 "Smerch" Multiple Rocket Launcher Modules, based on a MZKT-79306).

General characteristics[edit]

9A52-4 Tornado[edit]

  • Chassis: KamAZ-63501
  • Salvo Time: 6 rounds in 20 seconds
  • Reload Time: 8 min

Rocket projectiles[edit]

Variant Rocket Warhead Self-destruct time Range
Name Type Weight Length Weight Submunition Min. Max.
9M55K Cluster munition, anti-personnel 800 kg 7.6 m 243 kg 72 × 1.75 kg, each with 96 fragments (4.5 g each) 110 sec 20 km 70 km
9M55K1 Cluster munition, self-guided anti-tank 243 kg 5 × 15 kg
9M55K4 Cluster munition, AT minelets. 243 kg 25 × 5 kg mines 24 hour
9M55K5 HEAT/HE-Fragmentation. 243 kg 646 × 0.25 kg (120 mm RHA armor piercing) 260 sec
9M55F separable HE-Fragmentation 258 kg
9M55S Thermobaric 243 kg
9M528 HE-Fragmentation 815 kg 243 kg 7.6 m 25 km 100 km


See also[edit]


External links[edit]