Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks

9A52-4 Tornado

Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) (2011)

Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 2
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 2
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense; Tornado-G pictured.

Jump-to: Specifications

The 9A52-4 Tornado MLRS continues the Russian love affair with wheeled rocket-launching vehicles.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/06/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Since the dark days of World War 2, the Russian (then Soviet) Army has placed a premium on wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs). The trend continues today with the 9A52-4 "Tornado" 8x8 wheeled rocket projector which was adopted in 2011 as an upgrade replacement for the aged BM-21, BM-27 and BM-30 MLRS lines. The vehicle is manufactured by the Motovilikha Plant of Perm, Russia and some 36 have been procured heading into 2014. It is expected that the new design will outright replace all comparable models within the next decade.

The Tornado is a complete mobile weapons platform consisting of a fully-suspended, heavy-duty mover vehicle (with integrated crew cabin) and a rear-mounted rocket launcher system. The vehicle portion itself is the KamAZ-63501 truck designed specifically for heavy-duty military service while being powered by a single JamAZ-740.50.360 diesel-fueled engine of 360 horsepower output. The 8x8 wheeled nature of the chassis allows the vehicle to traverse cross country when necessary as well as reach its maximum speed of 90 kilometers per hour on paved roads. Operational range of the vehicle is 1,000 kilometers. A typical operating crew is just two personnel (including a driver) thanks to heavy use of automation in the firing sequence. The overall vehicle weight is in the range of 24.5 tons and, dimensionally, features a length of 11.2 meters with a width of 2.5 meters and a height of 3.15 meters.
The armament portion of the 9A52-4 vehicle is adaptable to the battlefield need. The launcher is capable of supporting launch tubes of 122mm, 220mm or 300mm in caliber though the larger the rocket used, the lower the total number of rockets launched. 15 x 122mm rockets can be carried compared to 8 x 220mm types or 6 x 300mm types. The maximum engagement range of the launcher unit is approximately 90 kilometers when using the base rocket. A complete salvo can be cleared in under 10 seconds, allowing the vehicle to retreat, reload and reposition for a second assault. A full line of such vehicles can have a devastating physical and psychological effect on the enemy. The Tornado system allows for complete Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) engagement and rockets can carry a variety of in-circulation warhead types including High-Explosive, FRAGmentation (HE-FRAG), anti-personnel, anti-armor "minelets", cluster munitions, thermobaric and incendiary. The crew is aided by several onboard systems which provide the necessary accuracy/precision at range including an all-digital Fire Control System (FCS).

To date, the Tornado series - having originated with the Tornado-G (upgrading the BM-21 "Grad" line), has seen an additional variant form emerge as the "Tornado-S", this version promising improved engagement ranges and precision thanks to use of a GLONASS (GLObal NAvigation Satellite System). The Tornado-S is a BM-30 "Smerch" upgrade and already in use with the Indian Army. The Tornado-U is an upgrade to the BM-27 "Uragan" line of MLRSs.


Service Year

Russia national flag graphic


Motovilikha Plant - Russia
National flag of India National flag of Russia India; Russia
(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.

36.7 ft
11.2 m
8.2 ft
2.5 m
10.3 ft
3.15 m
49,295 lb
22,360 kg
24.6 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base 9A52-4 Tornado production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x KamAZ-740.50.360 diesel engine developing 360 horsepower.
55.9 mph
(90.0 kph)
621.4 mi
(1,000.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base 9A52-4 Tornado production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
15 x 122mm rocket launch tubes OR 8 x 220mm rocket launch tubes OR 6 x 300mm rocket launch tubes.

Supported Types

Graphical image of tank battlefield rockets

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent on launch tube installation.

9A52-4 "Tornado" - Base Series Designation
9A53-G "Tornado" - Upgraded BM-21 "Grad" vehicles
9A53-U "Tornado" - Upgraded BM-27 "Urugan" vehicles
9A53-S "Tornado" - Upgraded BM-30 "Smerch" vehicles

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-