Ukrainians build homemade 122mm MRL using Russian BM-21 Grad
KYIV ($1=29.57 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — Homemade 122mm mobile multiple rocket launcher [MRL] appeared in photos shared on social networks, which confirm that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are repairing and remaking every captured weapons system by the Russian Armed Forces, as well as the fact that Ukrainians are short of enough missile systems.
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The rocket system consists of only two rocket tubes, usually used for irregular “shoot and scoot” operations, attached to a configured and tubular main body. The entire missile system is integrated on a most likely Soviet UAZ pickup. The firing angle of the two rocket tubes is adjusted using a self-winding helical cylindrical lever at the end of which there is a welded homemade rudder.
Depending on whether the rudder rotates clockwise or counterclockwise, the self-winding helical cylindrical lever raises or lowers the two rocket tubes at one end and thus changes the firing angle and distance of the missiles. It is not yet clear how the rockets are ignited – electric or mechanic. Still, comments prevail that it is most likely done through electric fuse ignition.
The two missile tubes, part of the entire homemade missile system, are from a captured Soviet BM-21 Grad self-propelled 122 mm multiple rocket launcher. In its original configuration, each of the 40 tubes of the Soviet rocket system fired up to two artillery shells in a second. In the Ukrainian homemade configuration it is clear that this is impossible to achieve, as well as the muzzle velocity of the system, which in the original Soviet version was 690 m / s [2,264 ft / s]. 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.
There is a lack of information about the most important feature of the homemade Ukrainian missile system – the range of missiles fired. In the original Soviet version, a missile could hit a target at a minimum of half a kilometer and a maximum of 45 kilometers, but this is through the use of newer missiles. Older Soviet missiles manufactured for the BM-21 Grad can reach a maximum range of just over 20 kilometers. But both the Soviet original and the Ukrainian homemade copy are thought to be most effective at a short-range distance.
It is also unclear from the shared photos exactly how the operators of the homemade Ukrainian 122mm MLR will perform the aiming. It is the lack of such information that calls into doubt the effectiveness of this weapon system. Some analysts, looking at the photos, suggest that most likely the aiming will be done by the old school way – compass and level, others believe that a civilian drone with a camera can be used to visualize the target, but not aim missiles.
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