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BM-24 (Katyusha)

6x6 Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System [ 1949 ]

The BM-24 6x6 Mutiple Rocket Launch System vehicle appeared after the close of World War 2.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/26/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Soviet Army found tremendous value in the relatively inexpensive wheeled self-propelled rocket projector, perhaps more so than any other participating military power of World War 2 (1939-1945). Such weapons provided a much-needed shock value against enemy forces and preceded a major offensive alongside huge barrages of artillery fire. The various "Katyusha" systems - BM-8, BM-13 and BM-31 - fulfilled this role during the conflict and their designs revolved around adoption of an existing 6x6 wheeled truck chassis with cab and flatbed mating a limited traverse rocket-launching platform. Following the close of the war in 1945, thought was given to a new generation of similar vehicles and one such development became the "BM-24" series. Today, weapons belonging to this class are categorized under the "MLRS" designation - "Multiple Launch Rocket System" - their primary purpose remaining shock value and saturation of target areas at range.

The BM-24 followed the same design form and function as the BM offerings before it. The launcher component was a rather simplistic steel cage consisting of 12 x 240mm rockets, each capable of holding warheads (including chemical) to suite the mission need. The original vehicle of choice was the multi-purpose ZiS-151 6x6 series featuring a single forward axle and two rear axles. The cab held enough room for up to three persons including the driver (a typical crew numbered six). Power was supplied through a 5.6L ZiS-121 6-cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Production of the truck model began in 1947 and spanned into 1958 out of Automotive Factory No. 2 in Moscow - Zavod Imeni Stalina (hence the "ZiS" designation). In 1956, this factory was handed a new name - "Zavod Imeni Likhacheva" - and, thusly, the designation of the truck appropriately changed to "ZiL-151". ZiL-151 marks were eventually superseded by the ZiL-157 series if 1958.

The BM-24 was used in considerable numbers (in the thousands) by the Soviet Army. The vehicle was adopted by Soviet customers worldwide including Egypt (seeing use in the Six Day War), China, North Korea and Iran as well as others. The BM-24 launch platform was also mated to the AT-S artillery tractor to produce the related "BM-24T" model mark. These featured a track-and-wheel arrangement with a larger, fully-enclosed cab armored. The launcher system was fitted to a traversing mount at the rear of the vehicle.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.

March 2023 - It has been reported that the Russian Army has brought some of its aging, retired stock of Katyusha 6x6 vehicles back into service for fighting in the Russo-Ukrainian War.


Automotive Factory No. 2 ZiS / ZiL - Soviet Union
Afghanistan; Algeria; China; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Egypt; Hungary; Iran; Iraq; Israel (captured); Jordan; Kuwait; Libya; North Korea; Poland; Russia; Saudi Arabia; Soviet Union; Sudan; Syria; Tunisia; Vietnam; Yemen
Operators National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Algeria National flag of China National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Israel National flag of Jordan National flag of Kuwait National flag of Libya National flag of North Korea National flag of Poland National flag of Russia National flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sudan National flag of Syria National flag of Tunisia National flag of Vietnam National flag of Yemen
Service Year
Soviet Union
National Origin
Limited, Retired
Project Status

Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

22.0 ft
(6.7 meters)
7.5 ft
(2.3 meters)
9.5 ft
(2.91 meters)
20,283 lb
(9,200 kg)
10.1 tons

1 x ZiL-151 6-cylinder water-cooled, gasoline-fueled engine developing 109 horsepower driving conventional 6x6 all-wheel arrangement.
Drive System
40 mph
(65 kph)
Road Speed
267 miles
(430 km)
Road Range

12 x 240mm M-24FUD rockets (HE, Smoke, Chemical) by way of launcher rails over rear of carrier vehicle.
Dependent upon ammunition carrier. Various warhead types.

BM-24 - Base Series Designation; launcher fitted to rear of ZiL-151 6x6 utility truck.
BM-24T - Tracked version mating launcher to AT-S artillery mover.

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Image of the BM-24 (Katyusha)
Image from the Public Domain.

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