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8x8 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) [ 2016 ]

Evolved from the Russian MZKT-7930 vehicle, Belarus has adopted the Polonez for the heavy rocket-projecting role.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/27/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Taking a page out of proven Soviet-Russian land warfare doctrine, the modern Belarus Army utilizes the "Polonez" 8x8 wheeled Multiple Rocket Launch System (MLRS) in the heavy rocket-projecting role. These weapons are designed not only for their obvious lethality but also the terrifying psychological effect they can have on target areas - particularly against dug-in enemy troops. The vehicles have been in active service with Belarus forces since 2016 and have seen combat service in the Nagomo-Karabakh War of 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan (a Belarus export partner). The wheeled system is comparable to various other Soviet-inspired developments including the classic "Katyusha", BM-21 "Grad", and BM-27 "Uragan" - all fulfilling the same battlefield MLRS function.

Design work on this Belarussian solution took place in 2014 and production has been ongoing since.

The Polonez is a development of Belarussian-based MZKT with suspected Chinese technical assistance and took place during the 1990s just as the Soviet Empire (1947-1991) had fallen to history. The pilot (prototype) vehicle form was made ready in 1994 but did not enter Belarus service until 2016.

The Polonez utilizes a proven 8x8 wheeled configuration with the overhanging crew compartment, oversized roadwheels, and high-ground clearance. The chassis provides good road and cross-country performance allowing it to keep up with the main fighting force. The vehicle fits eight large 300mm battlefield rockets in a powered, traversable / trainable launcher unit over the rear of the hull. This allows the vehicle to be setup to fire in short order and relocate to a new firing position within minutes. When all rockets are spent, the vehicle requires a nearby resupply unit to provide fresh rockets.

Two variants are known: the "Polonez" and "Polonez-M". The former has a range out to 120 miles while the latter modernized M-models increase reachable target areas out to 185 miles - giving this solution a considerable "reach" on the modern battlefield. M-models appeared in mid-2019.

The series was sold to Azerbaijan in 2018.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Belarus national flag graphic

In Active Service.

National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Belarus Azerbaijan; Belarus
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

Wheeled Arrangement
Wheeled arrangement gives this system an inherent road-running capability, enhancing mobility.
Cross-Country Capability
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
NBC Protection
Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Nuclear-Biological-Chemical agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
In-Direct Fire Capable
This system's capability is such that it can engage targets / target areas without Line-of-Sight attained.
Psychological Effect
Ability to provide lethal, in-direct firepower at range for area saturation; can include nuclear, biological, and chemical agents.

Powerplant: 1 x Diesel-fueled engine driving conventional all-wheel 8x8 arrangement.
40.4 mph
(65.0 kph)
310.7 mi
(500.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Polonez production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
2 x 4-tube 300mm rocket launcher set over the rear of the hull.

Supported Types

Graphical image of tank battlefield rockets

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
8 x 300mm heavy battlefield rockets.

Polonez - Base Series Designation; initial production model of 2016.
Polonez-M - Modernized version of 2019.

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