Belarusian Ground Forces conducts live-fire test of BM-21B “BelGrad-2” multiple launch rocket system (MRLS). This was reported by the press service of JSC “2566 plant for the repair of electronic weapons”. The test confirms the MRLS development is nearing completion. As a result, a decision will be made to put the MLRS into service with the Belarusian Ground Forces. The new MLRS BM-21B “BelGrad-2” is the second modernization of the Soviet MLRS BM-21.
The first modernization took place back in the 90s of the last century and consisted in changing the chassis: the Russian Ural was replaced by the Belarusian MAZ-631705 6×6 truck with 425 hp diesel engine TMZ-8424. The second upgrade began in May 2020 and went deeper. A leveling and stabilization mechanism has been developed for the new MLRS, which allows you to take a position for firing on any terrain.
The increased length of the chassis made it possible to install racks between the cockpit and the artillery part to accommodate 40 or 60 rockets for a repeated salvo. The installation can fire both single shots and a salvo of all types of rockets developed for the BM-21. The firing range is 35 – 40 km. Management is carried out both from the cockpit and from a portable control panel. A new set of communication and data transmission facilities has been installed.
The BM-21 “Grad” is a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher. The weapons system and the M-21OF rocket were first developed in the early 1960s, and saw their first combat use in March 1969 during the Sino-Soviet border conflict. BM stands for boyevaya mashina, and the nickname grad means “Hail”. In NATO countries the system either the complete system or the launch vehicle only was initially known as M1964.