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9A52-2 BM-30 Smerch / Tornado
300-mm Multiple Rocket Launcher

Russia is placing considerable emphasis on new warheads for the 300 mm Smerch and other artillery rocket systems to enable them to engage a wider range of battlefield targets. This system support to "deep strike" tactics and capabilities which enable Army units to defeat large armored formations with less effort. Comparable to the US Multiple Launch Rocket System, the Smerch rocket can carry up to five Bazalt parachute-retarded munitions which use a two-colored sensor to find the target and fire a 1-kilogram penetrator at 2,000 meters a second.

The 9A52-2 launcher with all supporting equipment, including the 9T234-2 Transloader, and the 1K123 Vivary Fire Control System, is referred to as the complex 9K58. The first export customer for the 9A52 (12-round) system was Kuwait, with 27 systems delivered, with the United Arab Emirates being the second customer. China has also purchased this system from Russia. The Splav Government Scientific Production Concern has redesigned the Smerch multi-barrel rocket system, boosting its range from 70km to 90km. The weapon's accuracy is also claimed to have been improved.

On 29 December 2016 the army received the first batch of Russia's newest deadly multiple launch rocket system, the Tornado-S. An upgrade to the formidable Tornado 9A52-4, the Tornado-S includes a new automated guidance and fire control system, improved rounds, and other upgrades. The press service of the Tula-based Splav State Research and Production Enterprise, the company responsible for delivering the system to the military, confirmed that the first batch of Tornado-S MRLS platforms has been delivered to the armed forces.

"The production of the Tornado-S MLRS has commenced. The first state contract for the systems' supply to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation has been completed," the company's statement curtly explained. The company did not say clarify exactly how many units were delivered. State trials for the Tornado-S were concluded earlier in 2016 year, and the Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the mass introduction of the system would start in 2017.

The 9A52-4 Tornado, Tornado-S's predecessor, was already the most advanced MLRS system available to the Russian armed forces. Designed through the 2000s and introduced in 2011, the Tornado was built as a lightweight, more mobile version of the BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launcher system. The Tornado has been gradually replacing older rocket artillery systems, including the famous BM-21 Grad and BM-27 Uragan, available to the Russian army.

Tornado-S is a substantive upgrade to the Tornado. Most prominently, it features a new automated guidance and fire-control system allowing for the simultaneous automated coordination and control of the fire of an entire artillery battalion. The system is also capable of automatically calculating target data. The new system also has an improved range, thanks to guided rocket rounds, enabling it to fire distances up to 120 km, comparing favorably with the 90 km range of the Tornado's standard 800 kg round.

Tornado-S also has improved accuracy thanks to the integrated use of the GLONASS satellite navigation system, and can be deployed more quickly from full stop than its predecessor. The Tornado-S will complement existing Tornado artillery battalions as both systems replace older Soviet-era systems.

Splav's production met with growing demand in Russia and across foreign markets in recent years, with production increasing by 2.5 times in the last year alone, mainly thanks to foreign orders. The company's profits had increased by 38.5% compared with 2015. The company plans to complete the modernization of its production capabilities, in accordance with the federal program on the development of the military-industrial complex.

Russian Tornado-S multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) Russian Multiple Launch Rocket System will be equipped with a long-range high-accuracy missile with a tracker using signals of GLONASS satellite navigation system. According to Izvestia newspaper 08 February 2017, the new missile, which was being tested, will be able to hit a target of not more than 1 meter (3.2 feet) in size at a distance of several hundred kilometers.

The missiles accuracy will not depend on weather conditions or the time of day, the newspaper reported. The long-range 300-mm Tornado-S MLRS, manufactured by the Splav Research and Manufacturing Company, can fire at a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles) and strike an area of over 60 hectares (150 acres).



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