A new ‘light’ Multiple Launch Rocket system (MLRS) based on an 80 mm rocket is being developed in Russia with serial production planned for 2024.
The new MLRS will be unveiled at the Army-2021 land forces exhibition which will be held from August 22 to 28 at the Patriot Exhibition Center near Moscow.
This was announced by the head of the Tekhnodinamika holding Igor Nasenkov at the congress of the Russian Engineering Union. "With positive results, completion of the development is possible in 2023, and after state tests, its serial production can commence by the end of 2024," the Russian MoD’s TV channel, TVZveda reported Sunday.
According to Nasenkov, work on the new MLRS is taking place at NPO SPLAV enterprise which is the developer of all the multiple launch rocket systems in service.
Research work is underway to use the unguided 80 mm caliber S-8 missile as the main projectile of the new light MLRS.
Details of the vehicle on which the new light MLRS is to be mounted are not known as yet nor is its range. However, a light MLRS will enable quick transport and deployment at the cost of range as compared to heavier MLRS systems.
Current Russian MLRS such as the Smerch use 300mm heavy and long range rockets but come at a price in terms of mobility and deployment. The 300mm 9M55K rocket has a solid propellant rocket motor whose firing range varies from 20km to 70km.
The Russian Army used its Grad, Uragan and Smerch MLRS successfully in Syria, striking terrorist fortifications by raining down fire from the sky. It is believed that multiple MLRS projectiles striking a wide area forced ISIS terrorists to abandon their positions during several encounters in Syria.
The S-8 unguided aircraft rocketsis designed to destroy ground targets and are used on almost all Russian-made military helicopters and aircraft. Its range varies from 1-4 km in air-to-ground firing mode.
It currently comes in various versions including: