Ukraine fires VILKHA missiles with momentum-increasing micromotors

KYIV ($1=36.78 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — The Ukrainian armed forces use on the battlefield and to counter Russian soldiers a local development of the MLRS called Vilkha. Confirmation of this information comes from the Twitter account Tpyxa News.

Ukraine fires VILKHA missiles with momentum-increasing micromotors
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Belgian online portal Army Recognition makes a short presentation of the Ukrainian MLRS. The Vilkha MLRS was developed by Ukraine’s Luch Design Bureau and the weapon’s artillery system is based on the Soviet BM-30 Smerch, the Belgians say. They add that the MZKT MAZ-543 8×8 chassis transports the 300 mm missile launcher, which is manned by a crew of four and can fire 12 missiles within 45 seconds.

According to Army Recognition, which, however, cites the Ukrainian source Tpyxa News, the missile launched from the Vilkha MLRS can reach a range of 300 km, although according to official characteristics, this system is not a long-range missile system, a short- and medium-range system between 70 and 130 km.

More about Vilkha MLRS

We will supplement the information of our Belgian colleagues with more features about the Ukrainian missile system. There is a newer version known as the Vilkha M MLRS, the missile station of which is transported by the chassis of the KrAZ-7634 8×8 truck. During firing, the chassis is stabilized by a pair of round legs so that the chassis can withstand the power of rocket shots and remain stationary.

Vilkha M MLRS 42 tons and can reach a maximum travel speed of 100 km/h, at 420 horsepower and thanks to a powerful YaMZ-7511.10 turbocharged diesel engine connected to a nine-speed manual transmission. A total of eight systems configure the front suspension of the chassis – four semi-elliptic springs and four hydraulic shock absorbers, while the situation with the rear suspension is much different – a rear beam and two semi-elliptic springs.

Vilkha M missile

Other open sources also claim that the Vilkha missile has an effective range of 130 km, which seriously contradicts the current 300 km range claims, although Tpyxa News talks about an upgraded Vilkha missile with a micromotor in its rear, at the fins, which increases the missile’s range. It is the operation of the micromotors, which can increase or regulate the momentum of the missile, that is the reason for claiming that the missile has an extended range of action and can reach a range of 300 km. By adjusting the momentum, the rocket is angularly stabilized in the various stages of flight acceleration. The missile can carry several types of warheads. The missile can carry several types of warheads.

The new Vilkha M MLRS has a very good fire control system that can work in automatic and manual modes. Azimuth is determined in both modes. The characteristic of the Vilkha missile itself is that it is a guided missile, but does not use GPS. The explanation of the Ukrainian developers is simple – during flight, the presence of GPS guidance allows the enemy to use electronic warfare systems that can jam the signal, and thus the missile has fallen long before reaching its target.

Vilkha M2 missile

It is known that before the start of the war, Ukrainian engineers began work on the development of the Vilkha M2 MLRS. There is no information on what stage of development they are at, whether they were able to develop it, and whether the M2 version is participating in the fighting in Ukraine. It is only known that the missile increases its range from 130 to 141/142 km.

Ukraine is the only user of this system in the world, and the participation of the Vilkha MLRS in the war in Ukraine is the first documented participation of the missile system in real combat. Vilkha MLRS is a new missile system that entered into service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2018.

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