Modernization project: Russia is upgrading rocket launch system

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MOSCOW – Developed in the Soviet Union, Russia’s multiple Grad rocket launch system is being modernized to the next generation of Tornado-G systems, said Aleksandr Kochkin, deputy director of Russian manufacturer Techmash.

“The new Tornado-G rocket launcher has just been commissioned, and its operations are automated as much as possible, and today, based on the scientific and technical implemented a project to modernize the BM-21 Grad to the Tornado-G level,” Kochkin said.

In early May, the deputy director of the Russian ammunition manufacturer reported that the country’s Armed Forces had received the first batch of 300mm Tornado-S.

The Tornado-S systems, with improved range and accuracy and improved choice of high-performance rockets, are planned to be delivered to Russian troops, Russian military commander General Oleg Salyukov said at the end of 2018.

The 122mm BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher was designed to destroy personnel in open or protected spaces, unshielded vehicles and armored personnel carrier vehicles in locations where artillery batteries and mortar shells, command posts, and other targets.

The Tornado-G is a modernized version of the BM-21 Grad. The system has increased firepower, more powerful ammunition, and automated guidance, aiming and navigation systems.

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Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that laser technology will play a crucial role in the country’s military power by talking about the “first practical results” of the Russian Peresvet laser-fighting system.

Putin highlighted the importance of the development of laser technology, including “tactical-level combat laser complexes”, at a defense-related cabinet meeting on Friday.

“Such types of weaponry will largely define the combat potential of the Russian Army and Navy … throughout the 21st century,” he said.

Putin said the government will study “the first practical results” of Peresvet’s laser system performance when used by the military. The top gun formally entered the testing service in December.

Named after a famous Russian patriotic warrior monk of the 14th century, Peresvet was announced by Putin last year.

Almost everything about the gun is stealthy, even its exact purpose. Experts suggest that the laser, among other things, can be used as an interference device or to neutralize aerial targets, including cruise missiles. Some have said that military level lasers like this can be used against enemy satellites.

In his speech in March 2018, Putin unveiled a series of new cutting-edge weapons. Among them was the airborne hypersonic missile Kinzhal (“Dagger”), who later successfully passed tests and was mounted on MiG-31 fighters.

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