6x6 Wheeled Mobile Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS)
The Kamaz Tornado-G product was selected to replace the Cold War-era BM-21 Grad rocket-projecting systems in Russian Army service.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The KAMAZ Tornado-G is a mobile, self-propelled, wheeled Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) developed by local Russian industry for the Russian Army. It is being used to succeed the aging line of Cold War-era BM-21 "Grad" MLRSs (detailed elsewhere on this site) in same battlefield role. Over 150 of the systems are thought to be currently (2018) in active service with the Russian Army.
The "Tornado" name is used to cover a family of related rocket-projecting vehicles in the Russian inventory including the "Tornado-U" and "Tornado-S" models - all have slightly different battlefield roles concerning their rocket-launching capabilities.
The G-model vehicles use a proven six-wheeled truck arrangement (KAMAZ or Ural-4320 type) with the engine and driving cab set at the front and a flatbed section set over the rear of the chassis. The rear section seats the 122mm rocket-launching pack atop a traversing / elevating mount for true 360-dergee fields of fire. This is tactically sound in that the truck does not need to face the direction of fire at any one point in the action. The launcher component is available in two distinct forms - 1 x 40 version and a 2 x 15 version. The chassis relies on a 6x6 wheeled arrangement with a single, steerable axle at front and two fixed axles at the rear supporting the bulk of the rocket launcher pack's weight. Ground clearance is excellent and the chassis is designed for cross-country mobility. Protection is very minimal, however, for these weapon systems are not intended for direct-combat, front-line operation.
The Tornado-G fires the 9M538, 9M539, and 9M541 rocket types which can carry variable warhead types including High-Explosive, FRAGmentation (HE-FRAG), Anti-Personnel (AP), and the like. The launching system is simplified to the point that rockets vacate the launcher unit in just seconds and rearming is accomplished in short order (via support from an accompanying resupply vehicle. Combined with the quality of mobility inherent in a 6x6 drive vehicle and the Tornado-G is an all-in-one ranged battlefield solution.
Series production of the vehicles began in 2013 and export approval was granted in 2018.