The 48.5 ton Smerch version the Indian Army is acquiring is capable of firing six types of rockets to a maximum range of 90 km. This is approximately 60 km further than regional rival Pakistan’s M109 self-propelled howitzers can fire. In addition, several of its rocket types have submunitions warheads that can cover wide areas with anti-armor or fragmentation munitions, neutralizing concentrations of armor and troops well beyond the range of any of India’s present artillery systems. The 9M55C rocket even packs a 500-pound thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) warhead.
Novosti Press Agency notes that with the signing of the contract, India will become the third foreign country to receive the Smerch MLRS. Russia delivered 18 systems to Algeria in 1999, and 27 systems to Kuwait in 1995-1996.
Defence Ministry sources said that the Smerch contract was divided into 3 stages over 3 years, with deliveries scheduled to begin later this year with the arrival of launchers and ‘basic’ rockets. More advanced version launchers and the guided rockets would arrive in subsequent stages, with deliveries to be completed some time in early 2008.
Smerch 9K58 launch vehicle is able to fire single rockets, or salvo from some to all 12 rockets. Full salvo lasts 38 seconds. Projectiles are launched by operator from inside the cabin or outside it, using extractive control device. Three "Smerch" launching vehicles salvo destruction power is equal to the work of two brigades, fitted with 9K79 "Tochka-U" ground-to-ground missiles. One launching vehicles salvo covers square of 672 square meters in 20 - 70 km range.
High "Smerch" MLRS combat electivity is ensured by usage of "Vivariy" half-automatic fire control system. Fire control system was developed and is produced by Tomsk city "Kontur" production association. This fire control system joins some command vehicles placed under MLRS brigade commander's dis"Smerch" launches 300-mm rocketposition and also lower level commanders (up to three) and MLRS batteries (up to 18). Every of such vehicles are based on "KamAZ-4310" trucks. It has computer, display, printing device, communication sources and scrambler equipment.
|BM-30 Smerch 9A52|
The BM-30 Smerch 9A52 is a russian made heavy multiple rocket launcher. The BM-30 is designed and manufactured by the Russian Company Splav State Research and Production Association, Tula, Russia, which also manufactures the Uragan, Grad and Prima rocket launchers. The BM-3 Smerch 9A52 wast first seen by the West in 1983, and it entered in the Russian army in 1987. The BM-30 Smerch 9K58 is designed to counter tactical missile systems, army aviation at staging airstrips, as well as rocket, artillery and mortar battalions and batteries, command post, and manpower concentration areas. A Smerch unit is typically composed of six launchers and six transloaders. Now it is used by Russian, Ukraine, Belarus, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates, Indian and Chinese armed forces.