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300-mm Multiple Launch Rocket System

9K58 "Smerch"


"Smerch" 300-mm Multiple Launch Rocket System

Entered service in 1987
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight in combat order 43.7 t 
Overall length 12 400 mm 
Chassis length 12 400 mm
Width 3 100 mm 
Height 3 100 mm
Caliber 300-mm
Number of loading tubes 12
Salvo lasting time 38 s
Reloading time 36 min
Traverse range  60 degrees 
Elevation range   0 to + 55 degrees 
Combat Load
Combat load 12 rockets
Rocket weight 800 kg
Maximum firing range 90 km
Minimal firing range 20 km
Engine power 525 h.p.
Maximum road speed 60 km/h 
Autonomy on roads 850 km 
Slope 30
Ford 1 m
   The "Smerch" Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is the most powerful and the perfect MLRS of the world. It is intended to defeat live power, destroy armored vehicles, fortifications and command centers in 20 - 70 km range. "Smerch" was developed at the beginning of 80-ties by Tula city "Splav" National Scientific-Production Company of Soviet Union in cooperation with more than 20 other companies of Soviet Union. In 1987 "Smerch" entered service in Soviet Armed Forces. Now it is used by Russian, Ukraine, Belarus, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates armed forces. Indian and Chinese governments showed interest to obtain "Smerch" for their armed forces.

   MLRS 9K58 "Smerch" includes loading vehicle 9A52-2, 300-mm reaction projectiles, fire control system, reloading vehicle 9T234-2, training sources, and arsenal equipment complex.

   Loading vehicle consists from artillery part and "MAZ-543M" 4-axis chassis. It has classical arrangement. Artillery part is mounted at the back part of wheeled chassis, while driv"Smerch" is the most powerful MLRS of the worlder cabin is mounted frontally. Engine compartment and crew cabin, fitted with radio set and fire control system, are placed frontally.

   Artillery part consists from 12 launching pipes package, turning base, turning, lifting, and aiming devices, electronic and auxiliary equipment. Launching pipes are rifled. Pipe package can be directed form 0 to +55 in elevation range and 60 ( 30 right and 30 left) in traverse range. Hydraulic bearings are mounted between third and forth axis, which hang vehicles rear part to ensure better stability, when fire is executed.

   Reaction projectiles, developed by NSPC "Splav" for "Smerch" MLRS have unique constructional design. Rockets provide fire accuracy surpassing western analogues in 200 - 300%. Reaction projectiles are fitted with flight control system, correcting rockets flight trajectory. Correction is made with hydrodynamic correction wings, powered by high pressure gas, from board gas generator. Furthermore rocket is stabilized by spinning around it's axis after leaving loading pipe. Flight stabilizers began to work right after rocket leaves loading pipe and stabilize it as well. "Smerch" salvo accuracy is no more than 0.21% of rockets flying range.

   300-mm "Smerch" projectiles are fitted with solid fuel engines. Rockets have 7.6 m length and 800 kg weight. Warhead weight is 280 kg. Warhead can be simple or cluster. There are developed later projectile types:

   - High Explosion Fragmentation projectile 9M55F with simple warhead (explosives weight - 92.5 kg ). Projectile is used to destroy fortifications, command points, missile launching positions, etc.;
   - Cluster projectile 9K55K fitted with 72 combat elements 2 kg weight each. Main projectiles purpose is defeat of live power. 10 - 16 such projectiles are enough to absolute annihilation of motorized company;
   - Cluster projectile 9K55K1 fitted with 5 self-guiding high-effective combat elements "Motiv". Four "Smerch" launching vehicles fitted with such projectiles can defeat tank company in it's concentration region.

   There were developed projectiles, fitted with vacuum effect or incendiary warheads, anti-tank or anti-personnel mines as well. "Splav" company specialists have developed recently thermo baric warhead to destroy fortifications and live power, covered by them.

   "Smerch" launch vehicle is able to fire single rockets, or salvo from some to all 12 rockets. Full salvo lasts 38 seconds. Projectiles are launched by operator from inside the cabin or outside it, using extractive control device. Three "Smerch" launching vehicles salvo destruction power is equal to the work of two brigades, fitted with 9K79 "Tochka-U" ground-to-ground missiles. One launching vehicles salvo covers square of 672 square meters in 20 - 70 km range.

   High "Smerch" MLRS combat electivity is ensured by usage of "Vivariy" half-automatic fire control system. Fire control system was developed and is produced by Tomsk city "Kontur" production association. This fire control system joins some command vehicles placed under MLRS brigade commander's dis"Smerch" launches 300-mm rocketposition and also lower level commanders (up to three) and MLRS batteries (up to 18). Every of such vehicles are based on "KamAZ-4310" trucks. It has computer, display, printing device, communication sources and scrambler equipment. Vehicles have autonomic electricity systems moving and in position. "Vivary" system command staff vehicles provide informational interchanging between upper level commanders and MLRS crews. It plans artillery fire concentration and fire into moving enemy lines tasks, prepares data for firing, gathers and analyzes information on artillery subdivisions. In it's efficiency "Vivariy" fire control system is equal to USA analogue "Takefire".

   9K58 "Smerch" MLRS consists reloading vehicle 9T234-2, developed on "MAZ-543A" chassis. This vehicle has crane equipment and transports 12 rockets. Reloading process is mechanized and lasts 36 minutes.

   Reloading and launching vehicles chassis are almost the same and fitted with V-type 12-cylinder 525 h.p. (under 2000 rpm) diesel engine D12A-525A. It has hydromechanic transmission with hydro transformer and planetary three level automatic gear box.

   Vehicle chassis has 8 x 8 wheel formula. Two first wheel pares are directing. All wheels have independent torsion suspension. Wheels are fitted with wide profile tyres. Wheels have centralized air pressure system.

   Vehicles reach maximum road speed of 60 km/h. Vehicles manage 30 slopes and 1 m fords. Autonomy on roads is 850 km. 

   "Smerch" is the most powerful MLRS of the world, however there are no limits for modernization works. It's modernization program was made by it's developer "Splav" company. "Splav" have chosen two lines of upgrading works. First of all it modernized rocket itself, which range increased from 70 to 90 km. Now MLRS is able to destroy frontline airbases.

   Second modernization line was intended to increase it's fire accuracy and to decrease aiming time. To ensure this Kovrov city "Signal" Scientific Military Research Institute developed automatic all-weather fire control system. It includes satellite navigation equipment. Furthermore now not only staff vehicle but each MLRS vehicle is showed on the electronic map. In fire position "Smerch" coordinates are inputted into ballistic computer which sets elevation and traverse angles. Control, fire preparation, firing and march preparation are made by crew from inside the cabin.

   The same navigation system directs "Smerch" to reloading vehicle furthermore this as the other operations are made independently from weather conditions at day or night time. 

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