BM-21 Grad

BM-21 "Grad"
Russian BM-21 Grad in Saint Petersburg.JPG
A Russian BM-21-1 on display in Saint Petersburg, in May 2009
TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1963–present
Used bySee Operators
WarsVietnam War
Lebanese Civil War
Western Sahara War
Angolan Civil War
Uganda–Tanzania War[1]
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
Iran–Iraq War
Soviet–Afghan War
Gulf War
Nagorno-Karabakh War
Yugoslavia War
First Chechen War
1995 Cenepa War
Second Chechen War
Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel
Russo-Georgian War
Cambodian–Thai border dispute
Libyan Civil War (2011)
Syrian Civil War[2][3][4]
Operation Serval
War in Donbass
Yemeni Civil War (2015)[5]
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015–present)
2016 Nagorno-Karabakh clashes
Production history
DesignerSplav State Research and Production Enterprise
ManufacturerSplav State Research and Production Enterprise
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications (9K51)
Weight13.71 tonnes (30,225 lb)
Length7.35 m (24 ft 1 in)
Barrel length3.0 m (9 ft 10 in)
Width2.40 m (7 ft 10 in)
Height3.09 m (10 ft 2 in)

Rate of fire2 rounds/s
Muzzle velocity690 m/s (2,264 ft/s)
Maximum firing range20 km (12 mi) (new rockets 30–45 km)
SightsPG-1M panoramic telescope

EngineV-8 gasoline ZiL-375
180 hp (130 kW)
Suspension6×6 wheeled
405 km (251 mi)
Speed75 km/h (47 mph)

The BM-21 "Grad" (Russian: БМ-21 "Град", lit. 'Hail'), is a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher.[6] The weapons system and the M-21OF rocket[7] it fires were developed in the early 1960s, and saw their first combat use in March 1969 during the Sino-Soviet border conflict.[8] BM stands for boyevaya mashina (combat vehicle), and the nickname grad means "hail". The complete system with the BM-21 launch vehicle and the M-21OF rocket is designated as the M-21 field rocket system. The complete system is more commonly known as a Grad multiple rocket launcher system. In NATO countries, the system (either the complete system or the launch vehicle only) was initially known as M1964. Several other countries have copied it or developed similar systems.


BM-21-1 launch vehicle during a military parade in Yekaterinburg, 9 May 2009.

The M-21 field rocket system with a BM-21 launch vehicle (122 mm multiple rocket launcher (MRL) system) entered service with the Soviet Army in 1963 to replace the aging 140 mm BM-14 system. The launch vehicle consists of a Ural-375D six-by-six truck chassis fitted with a bank of 40 launch tubes arranged in a rectangular shape that can be turned away from the unprotected cab. The vehicle is powered by a water-cooled V-8 180 hp gasoline engine, has a maximum road speed of 75 km/h (47 mph), road range of up to 750 kilometers (470 mi), and can cross fords up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) deep. The original vehicle together with supporting equipment (including the re-supply truck 9T254 with 60 rockets) is referred to by the GRAU index "9K51"; the launcher itself has the industrial index of "2B5". In 1976, the BM-21 was mounted on the newer Ural-4320 six-by-six army truck.

The three-member crew can emplace the system and have it ready to fire in three minutes. The crew can fire the rockets from the cab or from a trigger at the end of a 64-meter (210 ft) cable. All 40 rockets can be away in as little as 20 seconds, but can also be fired individually or in small groups in several-second intervals. A PG-1M panoramic telescope with K-1 collimator can be used for sighting. The BM-21 can be packed up and ready to move in two minutes, which can be necessary when engaged by counter-battery fire. Reloading is done manually and takes about 10 minutes.

Each 2.87-meter (9 ft 5 in) rocket is slowly spun by rifling in its tube as it exits, which along with its primary fin stabilization keeps it on course. Rockets armed with high explosive-fragmentation, incendiary, or chemical warheads can be fired 20 kilometers (12 mi). Newer high explosive and cargo (used to deliver anti-personnel or antitank mines) rockets have a range of 30 kilometers (19 mi) and more. Warheads weigh around 20 kilograms (44 lb), depending on the type.

The number of rockets that each vehicle is able to quickly bring to bear on an enemy target makes it effective, especially at shorter ranges. One battalion of eighteen launchers is able to deliver 720 rockets in a single volley. The system has lower precision than typical artillery and cannot be used in situations that call for pinpoint precision. It relies on a large number of shells dissipating over an area for a certain hit rate on specific targets. Nonetheless, because of the short warning time for the impact of the whole volley, the BM-21 is still considered an effective weapon.

Other Languages
العربية: بي إم-21 غراد
azərbaycanca: BM-21 Qrad
български: БМ-21 Град
bosanski: BM-21 Grad
català: BM-21
čeština: BM-21 Grad
Deutsch: BM-21
eesti: Grad
español: BM-21
français: BM-21 Grad
한국어: BM-21
hrvatski: BM-21 Grad
Bahasa Indonesia: BM-21 Grad
italiano: BM-21
עברית: גראד
ქართული: БМ-21
lietuvių: BM-21 Grad
magyar: BM–21 Grad
Bahasa Melayu: BM-21 Grad
日本語: BM-21
norsk: BM-21
norsk nynorsk: BM-21
polski: BM-21 Grad
português: BM-21 Grad
русский: БМ-21
Scots: BM-21 Grad
slovenščina: BM-21
српски / srpski: БМ-21 Град
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: BM-21 Grad
suomi: BM-21
svenska: BM-21 Grad
Türkçe: BM-21 Grad
українська: БМ-21 «Град»
Tiếng Việt: BM-21