Above: WW II vintage Katryusha rockets in action. Now they're available on steroids.
Below you will find our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with comments and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
Russia has a lot of better things to spend its limited budget on than bigger and better weapons. However, GW Bush unilaterally pulled out of the ABM treaty and Trump personally pulled out of the INF treaty. Both treaties had put a ceiling on the capabilities of lethal weapons between Russia and the US.
But the US has this magic printing press that makes money out of paper and ink, and it can sell Treasury bonds to retirees against their will, so money has not been a problem so far.
But that scam is winding down these days with Treasuries at bargain basement interest rates.
Yet, the extravagant spending on US arms has not slowed down to match this.
If the US took serious steps to limit arms in deals with Russia, and if NATO were to tone down its anti-Russian rhetoric and stop holding massive drills on Russia’s doorstep, that country would not be so desperate to design, manufacture and field death machines like the latest Tornado described below. Watching the old WWII films of the Katyusha in action, the rocket system on which the Tornado is based, gives us a hint of what this new improved system can do to NATO troops attempting to invade Russian turf. Why should the Russians worry?
Because a psychopathic NATO general says he is preparing his troops to invade Kaliningrad, the most heavily armed territory in Russia.
National Interest reports:
“The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which lies between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea and is geographically separate from the rest of Russia, practically bristles with S-300 and S-400 air-defence missiles, Oniks anti-ship missiles and Iskander surface-to-surface missiles.
“From Kaliningrad, Russia can threaten NATO aircraft, ships and ground forces for hundreds of miles in all directions.”
“But U.S. forces believe they know how to crack Kaliningrad, Gen Jeff Harrigan, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, told reporters including Breaking Defense’s Sydney Freedberg, Jr. “We train to that,” Harrigian said. “We think through those plans all the time, and… if that would ever come to fruition, we’d be ready to execute.”
So in light of Gen Harrigian’s glib words absurdly portraying Russia as an enemy poised to strike Europe, if Russia keeps developing increasingly lethal arms to kill American and European troops, let’s not show our surprised face.
"Sweeps away all living things." Russian artillery will be reinforced with new weapons
October 2, 2019
MOSCOW, October 2 - RIA Novosti, Nikolai Protopopov. A massive strike, a wall of flames and fragments, and a quick change of position – the Russian army is adopting the Tornado multiple launch rocket systems. The next batch of large-calibre Tornado-S will enter service by the end of 2020. Eventually, new installations will completely replace the aging Grad and Tornadoes. RIA Novosit reports on the unique MLRS [Multiple Launch Rocket System] family.
Flurry of rockets
The Tornado-S is the most powerful and longest-range multiple launch rocket system in the world. It entered service quite recently: the first brigade went into operation at the beginning of this year. Combat launches took place in April at the Kapustin Yar training ground in the Astrakhan Region – single and group missile attacks were carried out on fictional targets.
One installation carries twelve 300-mm missiles. They are individually aimed at targets using an automated fire control system. The operator receives the coordinates of the targets from reconnaissance satellites or drones. This feature distinguishes the new system from its predecessors and even partially raises it into the category of high-precision weapons.
Fragmentation and cumulative-fragmentation shells destroy manpower, equipment and fortifications of the enemy at a distance of up to one hundred and twenty kilometres. Judging by the declared characteristics, the MLRS [Multiple Launch Rocket System] fully lives up to its name. One full salvo of the Tornado-S can be compared with a tactical nuclear strike – a dozen guided missiles sweep away everything over an area of sixty-seven hectares [0.26 square miles, 2.47 acres. This damage is from only one such system. The Russians will deploy several brigades].
The "younger sister" with the letter "G" can release forty 122-mm unguided shells at a distance of forty kilometres. The duration of the volley is twenty seconds. Russian gunners had already used the Tornado-G in Syria. According to the test results, it was decided to strengthen the armour and mine protection, as well as to increase the carrying capacity of the chassis and the engine power.
Three types of ammunition have been developed for this system. The first is a projectile with a detachable high-explosive fragmentation unit, six times the power of the standard Grad multiple-launch rocket launcher. Such "fire arrows" sweep away manpower in open areas and in shelters, destroy trucks and pickups. The second type - cluster warhead with cumulative-fragmentation elements - burns armoured vehicles with an armour thickness of up to 140 millimetres [5.5 inches].
The shells of the third type fly only twenty kilometres, but in the warheads they carry several thousand six- and nine-millimetre impact elements, literally mowing down enemy infantry.
Recall the MLRS "Tornado" - a direct descendant of the legendary BM-13 rocket launchers, popularly nicknamed the "Katyusha." These installations received their baptism of fire in July 1941, destroying in one salvo the manpower and equipment of the Nazis, concentrated at the Orsha railway station in Belarus.
With a second strike, the battery destroyed the crossing of the Orshitsa River with the Wehrmacht troops accumulated on it. Two volleys fired one after the other so stunned the Germans that they temporarily stopped the offensive in this direction.
“Katyushas" were highly manoeuvrable: after making several launches, they quickly changed positions and avoided the enemy’s retaliatory strike. The BM-13 rockets were usually used on the most difficult sections of the front, and the Germans, wanting to get at least one sample for study, started a real hunt for this weapon. To prevent capture, each machine was equipped with a self-detonating device.
The main advantages of rocket artillery over classical artillery have always been considered to be the colossal density of fire and the huge areas of destruction. After World War II, the Soviet army received the second generation of such systems - the BM-21 Grad. The production output of this weapon has been truly massive: more than eight and a half thousand units have left the assembly line.
The armies of more than thirty countries are armed with the Grad (which translates as hailstones); these units participated in many military conflicts. Upgraded versions still form the basis of the Russian army’s rocket artillery. Another type of MLRS - installation the Smerch (meaning hurricane) was a larger-calibre and longer-range analogue of the Grad. It was widely used in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and saw action in the Middle East.
One of the latest developments of domestic gunsmiths - the 300-millimetre systems of the Smerch MLRS – has been included by US military analysts in the list of "the deadliest Russian weapons" along with T-90 tanks, Iskander missile systems and S-400 air defence systems.
The Western approach
In the West, the development of multiple launch rocket systems began much later than in the USSR. Thus, the U.S. Army received the MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) only in the early 1980s. Unlike Soviet systems, the American launcher is based on the tracked chassis of the M2 Bradley armoured car. The designers' intent was that such a solution would improve cross-country MLRS mobility, however, as practice has shown, the vehicles have lost a lot of mobility. In addition, caterpillar equipment is more difficult to transfer by aircraft.
The American launcher has no guide tubes, and the 227 mm calibre ammunition is housed in two disposable transport and launch containers of six missiles each. The unguided shells are equipped with cumulative-fragmentation or cluster warheads. In addition, anti-tank ammunition with homing heads has been developed for the MLRS. The range of fire of the MLRS is from thirty to forty kilometres, depending on the type of ammunition. A full salvo of MLRS is fired in one minute.
The arsenal of American gunners also includes another MLRS system – the highly mobile HIMARS. It is mounted on a wheeled chassis, making it more manoeuvrable and compact. The launcher, adopted in 2003, is similar in design to the tracked MLRS. However, there are only six 227 mm calibre missiles in the container. In addition, the machine can accommodate one ATACMS short-range ballistic missile.
The Americans massively used the MLRS for the first time during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. Several hundred MLRS missiles launched tens of thousands of unguided missiles at Iraqi forces. At this time, they were found to be lagging behind the Soviet MLRS models. For example, the American systems often fell short in their range of fire, and the rockets were not powerful enough to effectively destroy armoured vehicles.