Reactive Systems of Salvo Fire
Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MLRS)
About "Katyusha" rocket launcher more has written, perhaps, than any other kind of weapon. In the Great Patriotic War dozens of types of unguided rockets and launchers were used. the first multi-charge launcher BM-13 was created in the late 1930s and mounted on the chassis of a truck ZIS-6. This was the same "Katyusha", adopted in June 1941, and in July received its first baptism of fire under the Belarusian city of Orsha. It is interesting that the ammunition was then launched by air ammunition, launched on rail guides mounted on a fire installation. Then the rails replaced the pipes, where the shots were loaded for several dozen pieces.
The name "Katyusha" was not used in official documents, but was invented by soldiers. Usually M-13 132-mm shells was called "Katyusha". But the M-13 projectiles also had several varieties and several dozen types of launchers.
Since X century, the Chinese have used in military operations rockets with powder engines. In the first half of the XIX century, missiles were widely used in the European armies (V. Kongreva, A. Zasyadko, K. K. Konstantinova and others). But by the end of the century they were being removed from service (in Austria in 1866, in England in 1885, in Russia in 1879). This was due to the successes in the development of rifled artillery and the dominance of the doctrine, according to which all the tasks of a field war can be fully solved by a 75-80 mm divisional gun. At the end of the XIX - beginning of the XX century, only the light rocket remained in the Russian army's arsenal.
The tactics of using missiles significantly changed by the beginning of 1945, when military operations moved from the endless Russian fields to the streets of German cities. Beating on small-sized targets with rockets became almost useless, but they proved to be very effective when firing at stone structures. Almost everywhere, military vehicles were put on the streets of cities and at the point of shot, houses occupied by the enemy. There was a huge number of hand-crafted self-made single launchers, carried by soldiers in their arms.
Modern war is inconceivable without the participation of artillery. The artillery helps during the battle all combat arms with the least losses to solve their combat missions. On the march, the artillery reflects the attacks of enemy tanks and covers the troops from enemy aircraft. In the offensive, the artillery clears the way for its troops. In defense, artillery with its fire helps troops repel enemy attacks. In all cases, artillery must be able to find the best way to act and with its fire provide timely assistance to the troops. In order to ensure the success of the offensive, it is necessary to reliably suppress enemy defenses, otherwise the attack of advancing infantry and tanks is doomed to failure.
A worthy heir to the BM-13 rocket Katyusha, which took its place of honor in museums, was the Soviet system of the second post-war generation - the field 122 mm divisional missile fire system BM-21 Grad, designed to engage in open and sheltered manpower, unarmored and lightly armored vehicles in the concentration areas; for the destruction and suppression of artillery and mortar batteries, command posts and other enemy targets in the course of combat operations, for the destruction of command posts, communication centers, fortifications, strong points and resistance units of the enemy, as well as for solving other tasks in different combat situations, including the destruction of military-industrial infrastructure facilities.
Along with the Kalashnikov rifle, the 122-mm Grad SLR based on the Ural truck is one of the most recognizable types of domestic weapons. Whether a joke - this system was in service with 50 countries, that is, every fourth state of the planet! Some countries have made their SZRS on the basis of Grad. On explosion, the warhead produces a great fragmentation effect and shock wave. The warhead fill may be Frag-HE, chemical, or incendiary. Because of its high volume of fire and large area coverage, the MRLs are well suited for use against troops in the open, for use in artillery preparations, and for delivery of chemical concen-trations. One volley from a BM-21 battalion is 720 rounds. Because these weapons have a large circular error probable (CEP),they are not suited for attacks against point targets.
The homeland of this weapon is Tula, JSC Scientific Production Association SPLAV. It is here, since the late 1950s, new generations of MLRS are being created, including those Grads, as well as Hurricanes and Smerchs. The experience gained in the creation of a MLRS for the ground forces made it possible to develop radically new systems for the Navy.
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