Russian Tornado S MLRS fires new missile
Tornado-S multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) can now fire a longer-range missile distinguished by high precision. Flight parameters are preset to guide each missile to the target in flight.
The new missile for Tornado-S has been recently tested at Kapustin Yar range, Russian Defense Ministry sources said. Missile and artillery troops trained new automatic controls which unite Tornado-S and Iskander-M. A missile battalion of the Eastern Military District operated together with a battalion of the Southern district. Iskander has a range of 500 km which exceeds the 120-km flight distance of Tornado-S missiles. It is not disclosed how much the new missile will extend the range. Designers earlier promised 200 km.
The new Tornado-S missile can turn to the target in flight. The parameters are preset for each missile before the launch. “There is the main fire direction and the depression angle is calculated for each missile,” expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. “It is similar to the vertical launch of antiaircraft missiles. They are popped up by a gunpowder pressure accumulator and the depression generator then switches on to turn the missile to the target. The MLRS missile leaves the guide and turns to the necessary angle by the azimuth. The salvo is thus distributed along the frontline,” he said.
An ordinary MLRS guides the package of missiles to one point. They fly in one direction and cover the targeted space. However, in modern warfare troops and hardware never concentrate in one place near the frontline. Artillery, air defense, armored vehicles and infantry are deployed at a distance from each other. The new missiles can hit a group of targets at a major distance from each other by one salvo.
“Distance and azimuth angle parameters can be preset for each missile. Thus, they can destroy a battalion of air defense launchers located at a distance from each other. Ordinary projectiles can destroy one-two targets and the area around them. The new missiles have an extended elliptical destruction zone. The turning capability distributes the missiles along the frontline ten times more,” Murakhovsky said.
Tornado-S is the most powerful MLRS in the world. It has 12 launchers which can fire single missiles or a salvo. Tornado-S has to replace BM-30 Smerch in artillery formations.
Besides Tornado-S, there is 122mm Tornado-G which replaces BM-21 Grad in regiments and battalions.
Tornado-S has an upgraded launcher with automatic fire controls and guided and unguided longer-range missiles. The new MLRS has GLONASS satellite communications and automatic guidance and fire control system. The operator has to put in coordinates, engage the guides and fire. It is not necessary to manually put in the data. The system can itself receive and process information from reconnaissance vehicles or drones. The launcher always knows its coordinates due to GLONASS and the computer can calculate the parameters for target destruction. Communication equipment transmits weather, air and missile defense data from the headquarters. They are taken into account in planning the strike.
A salvo of one upgraded launcher can fulfill the mission previously entrusted to an MLRS battalion with unguided projectiles, the Izvestia said.