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.
TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service2014 - present
WarsSyrian Civil War[1]
Production history
DesignerMotovilikha Plants
ManufacturerNPO Splav[2]
Produced2011 - present
No. builtMore than 171 units in service
Variants9A53-G Tornado, 9A53-U Tornado, 9A53-S Tornado
Mass24.65 t
Length11.2 m
Width2.5 m
Height3.15 m

Maximum firing range90 km

9M55 or 9M528 rockets
EngineKamAZ-740.50.360 diesel
360 hp
Suspension8×8 wheeled
1000 km
Speed90 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 approved for export.[3]


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 2011, replacing the BM-21 Grad.[4] The improved Tornado-S was upgraded with the special GLONASS satellite navigation system used in the Smerch missile system. The Tornado-S has guided rocket rounds enabling it to fire out to 72 miles (120 km). The Tornado-S has 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.[5] The system entered service with the Russian armed forces in 2014.[6] The Tornado-S was approved for service in July–August 2016 and started its serial deliveries.[7][8][9] 20 Tornado-S vehicles ordered in summer 2019.[10]

Tornado-G received export permission in June 2018 and Tornado-S with 120-km range satellite-guided shells in August 2019.[11][12][13] The three upgraded 122 mm Grad HE-Frag and HE/HEAT rocket variants for the Tornado-G multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) codenamed 9M538, 9M539 and 9M541 have a significant increase in firepower, albeit at a lower range capability.[14] BM-21 Grad systems are being upgraded to the level of new-generation Tornado-G systems.[15]

Tornado-S has been deployed during the armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine on the side of pro-Russian forces, as mentioned in the February 2015 Minsk ceasefire agreement which was signed by Russian Federation, thus proving Russia's involvement in the conflict [16][17]


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.

9A52-4 should not be confused with other systems in the similarly denoted Tornado family:

  • 9A53-G Tornado (2x15 1x40 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 s 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 s
9M55F separable HE-Fragmentation 258 kg
9M55S Thermobaric 243 kg
9М542[18][19] Satellite-guided (GLONASS),[20] HE-Fragmentation 820 kg 250 kg 40 km 120 km


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sputnik. "Russian Aviation in Syria Carried Out Up to 100 Sorties Per Day - Minister". sputniknews.com.
  2. ^ "Николай Макаровец: санкции на предприятии не отразились". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В 2011 году в Сухопутные войска в рамках гособоронзаказа поступило более 30 РСЗО «Торнадо-Г»". www.armstrade.org.
  5. ^ "НПО "Сплав" начало серийное производство системы "Торнадо-Г"". РИА Новости. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Гендиректор НПО "Сплав": реактивный "Град" прослужит еще 10-15 лет". РИА Новости. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Russian army to get Tornado-S multiple rocket launchers in 2017". TASS.
  8. ^ Sputnik. "Russian Army Gets First Batch of Brand New Tornado-S Rocket Artillery Systems". sputniknews.com.
  9. ^ "«Мотовилихинские заводы» отправили заказчику первую партию машин из состава комплекса РСЗО «Торнадо-С» - Мотовилиха". mz.perm.ru.
  10. ^ https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4102655
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Russia to offer upgraded multiple launch rocket system to Western customers". TASS.
  13. ^ https://tass.com/defense/1074375
  14. ^ "Splav details Tornado-G rockets - Jane's 360". www.janes.com.
  15. ^ https://sputniknews.com/military/201905251075330426-russia-grad-rocket-system/
  16. ^ "Minsk agreement" (PDF). peacemaker.un.org.
  17. ^ "Minsk agreement on Ukraine crisis: text in full". 12 February 2015 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  18. ^ "Корректируемый реактивный снаряд 9М542 - Ракетная техника". rbase.new-factoria.ru.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 September 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ tvzvezda.ru, Редакция. "Чудовищный «Торнадо» после «Смерча»: российские РСЗО способны превратить 67 Га в пустыню". Телеканал «Звезда».
  21. ^ "Южный военный округ получил 20 систем "Торнадо-Г"". lenta.ru.
  22. ^ TASS. "ТАСС: Внутренняя политика - В Крыму сформирован артиллерийский полк для прикрытия береговой линии". TASS. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  23. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В войска Восточного военного округа поступили реактивные системы залпового огня «Торнадо-Г»". armstrade.org.
  24. ^ TASS (22 July 2015). "TASS: Russia - Russia's Western Military District gets newest Tornado-G multiple rocket launchers". TASS. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  25. ^ "«Мотовилихинские заводы» отправили заказчику РСЗО «Торнадо-Г» - Мотовилиха". mz.perm.ru.
  26. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Главком Сухопутных войск сообщил о поступлении новых вооружений". www.armstrade.org.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Соединение ЗВО в Брянской области получило на вооружение два дивизиона РСЗО «Торнадо-Г»". armstrade.org.
  29. ^ "CMD's motorized rifle units in Samara received fifteen Tornado-G MLRS : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation". Eng.mil.ru. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  30. ^ "First Tornado-S MLRS supplied to Russian Southern district | January 2019 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2019 | Archive News year". Armyrecognition.com. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  31. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В войска ЮВО поступило около 100 ед. современной техники с начала года". www.armstrade.org.
  32. ^ http://www.armstrade.org/includes/periodics/news/2019/0719/100053505/detail.shtml
  33. ^ https://tass.com/defense/1088279

External links[edit]