New nose and spin axis math improves the MLRS rocket – Russia

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Efforts are underway in Russia to enhance the performance of the multiple-launch rocket system [MLRS], as reported by the Russian state news agency, TASS. The Splav Scientific Production Union [SPU; referred to as NPO in Russia] has apparently patented technology in pursuit of this aim. 

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This groundbreaking technology, as identified by TASS, is a super-speed artillery missile designed for MLRS. What sets this missile apart are its improved aeroballistic characteristics leading to a longer firing range. 

It’s interesting to note that the patent documentation states that the innovation represents a leap in multiple-launch rocket systems technology. The invention is a super-speed missile boasting improved aeroballistic features and precision, leading to a longer firing range. Moreover, trial runs of rockets based on the patented invention have confirmed these enhancements, as per the patent records. 

The augmentation of the projectile’s characteristics, according to the documents, is largely owing to the thoughtful selection of geometric ratios for various design elements. These include the nose of the hull, aerodynamic control surfaces, cylindrical fairing, and the stabilizer blades alongside the axes of rotation for these control surfaces. The precision has been further improved by decreasing the range of aeroballistic properties. 

The methodology employed to limit the spread of aeroballistic properties in an MLRS missile is not outlined in the patent documents. However, some established practices exist that could potentially fill in these gaps. 

One possibility is the use of cutting-edge computer simulations and modeling techniques. These can fine-tune aspects like the rocket’s shape, weight distribution, and aerodynamic performance. In tandem with computer simulations, picking and testing materials rigorously can eliminate weak or inconsistent materials that could potentially impair the missile’s performance. 

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The inclusion of superior control algorithms and feedback mechanisms could also be beneficial. These mechanisms could counteract unforeseen variations in the aeroballistic properties to ensure the accuracy and steady direction of the missile. 

It’s also of utmost importance to carry out routine checks and calibration of MLRS missile systems. Such maintenance includes inspecting the propulsion system, control surfaces, and guidance systems and ensuring the proper alignment and calibration of sensors and actuators. 

Evaluation and data collected from tests are equally important. Such data can be used to constantly refine the missile’s design, manufacturing processes, and guidance systems. By constantly analyzing and refining the missile based on the test outcomes, the range of aeroballistic properties could be gradually brought down. Consequently, the missile’s accuracy and reliability would be noticeably enhanced. 

Splav NPO, named after A.N. Ganichev and based in Tula, has been actively developing multiple launch missile systems for the land forces, navy, and aerospace forces. In total, the company has developed 48 missiles for various applications. 

Photo: Flickr

The specific MLRS for which Splav NPO has developed the new missile, as well as its caliber, has not been revealed. Russia is known to have several MLRS in service like the BM-30 Smerch [300mm], TOS-1 Buratino [220mm], TOS-1A Solntsepyok [220mm], Tornado G/S [122mm] and the Soviet-era BM-21 Grad [122mm]. 

The BM-30 Smerch system employs missiles of varying ranges based on the specific variant used. It can launch 300 mm rockets reaching up to 90 kilometers [56 miles]. 

Equipped to fire 220 mm caliber thermobaric rockets, the TOS-1 Buratino targets fortified positions and enemy personnel in urban areas or complex landscapes, with a range of about 6 kilometers [3.7 miles]. 

The successor to TOS-1 Buratino, the TOS-1A Solntsepyok also uses 220 mm caliber thermobaric rockets, however, with an increased range of up to 10 kilometers [6.2 miles]. Finally, the BM-21 Grad MLRS, a 122 mm caliber rocket system, has a range of roughly 20 kilometers [12.4 miles].


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