BM-21 GRAD V
|Manufacturer:||Splav State Research & Production Association FSUE|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
|Name:||Multiple rocket launcher|
At the same time as the BM-21 Grad 122 mm (40-round) multiple rocket launcher received its baptism of fire during the 1969 Sino-Soviet border skirmishes, the Splav Concern was given a requirement from the VDV headquarters for a lightweight MRL system that could be transported by aircraft and dropped with troops via a parachute and carriage platform to make a soft landing.
The result was the Grad-V or BM-21V (with the V standing for vozdushnodesantii, or airborne) system.
This first entered service with the Russian army in 1967. As far as it is known, this 122 mm (12-round) Grad-V system has never been offered on the export market.
The Grad-V has also been referred to in the West as the BM-21 M-1975, as this was the year that it was first observed by Western sources. It is fitted with two tiers of six 122 mm tubes mounted on the lower chassis of the reduced weight airborne forces GAZ-66B (4 × 4) 2,000 kg truck.
The truck has a collapsible canvas cab, removable doors and windscreen, telescopic steering wheel and tie-down points for aiding parachute dropping and landing. The launcher assembly is traversed towards the cab for travelling and for firing requires the two stabilising jacks at the rear of the vehicle to be lowered.
The rockets can be either fired singly or in a salvo lasting six seconds. Manual reloading by the two-man crew takes approximately five minutes. Launcher traverse is 70° left and right. The system is limited to firing HE fragmentation-type rockets only.
The BM-21V assembly has also been mounted on a tracked chassis, believed to be a variant of the BMD series airborne combat vehicle.