Ukraine has developed and tested a new multiple launch rocket system. The Bureviy complex is intended to replace obsolete rocket artillery models without losses in combat qualities. It is expected that after all the tests, the new MLRS will go into service and will allow the re-equipment of parts. However, such optimism may be excessive.
Prototype at the test site
The project “Bureviy” (Ukrainian “Uragan”) was developed by the Shepetivka repair plant with the involvement of a number of enterprises-suppliers of components, incl. foreign. Its goal was to create a new 220 mm MLRS to replace the outdated Uragan systems, suitable for production at Ukrainian enterprises, taking into account their modern capabilities. It is assumed that this will allow the production of new equipment and the launch of rearmament.
By now, the design has been completed and a prototype has been built. Not so long ago, he was taken to one of the Ukrainian test sites for fire tests. In parallel, the development of new missiles with an increased firing range is underway; the timing of their appearance is not specified.
On November 19, Defense Express published photos from the tests of the new MLRS. A self-propelled launcher at a firing position is shown, as well as the processes of firing and reloading using a transport-loading vehicle. The main features of the project, expected benefits, etc. are also disclosed.
“Hurricane” in Ukrainian
In fact, the Bureviy MLRS is a noticeably revised 9K57 Uragan complex, developed in the early seventies. The new project provides for the preservation of the general circuit, caliber and a number of components. At the same time, other components of the system, inaccessible or outdated, are being replaced by current analogs.
First of all, the chassis was replaced. The Hurricane system was built on the ZIL-135LM four-axle chassis, which had long been discontinued. The Bureviy project uses the Czech Tatra Т815-7Т3RC1 platform. An eight-wheeled chassis of this type shows fairly high performance and provides the required mobility. In the future, the introduction of a new armored cabin is expected to protect the calculation.
“Bureviy” receives a modern digital fire control system that simplifies the generation of data for firing and the use of weapons. New means of communication are used to ensure the transmission of target designation. It is argued that a promising MLRS can operate in a single reconnaissance and strike contours of a tactical link and show high performance.
The launcher is borrowed unchanged from the base Hurricane. As before, a package of 16 tubular guides with a lateral guide groove is used. Guidance is carried out using a sight and drives installed on the side of the guide package. Whether it is possible to remotely control the aiming is unclear.
The possibility of using all existing rockets for 9K57 MLRS with different warheads is declared. Depending on the type of missile, a firing range of 5 to 35 km is provided. In the future, new projectiles with improved characteristics are expected to appear. So, now the Yuzhnoye design bureau is occupied with the Typhoon-2 project. Its task is to create new missiles of 220 mm caliber with a range of up to 65 km. This will significantly increase the combat effectiveness of the Uragan / Bureviy MLRS.
It is noteworthy that within the framework of the new project, only a combat vehicle with a launcher has been developed and built. In recent tests, the work of the prototype was provided by the serial TZM 9T452 from the old “Hurricane”. It is not known how the problem of auxiliary means for serial complexes will be solved.
The fears and doubts of the Ukrainian army regarding the prospects of the Uragan MLRS are quite understandable. Such a technique in its initial configuration has long been outdated morally and has almost completely depleted its resource. As a result, missile forces and artillery in the near future risk being left without one of the most important weapons of fire.
Let us remind you that serial production of 9K57 Uragan products started in 1975 and continued until 1991. During this time, several thousand multiple launch rocket systems were built, including combat and transport-loading vehicles, as well as other support components. According to current data, now in the Ukrainian army there are up to 70 MLRS “Uragan”, and it is not difficult to determine the minimum age of such equipment.
The first attempt to modernize the Hurricane and keep it in service was made back in 2010 and was named Bastion-03. This project proposed the transfer of the launcher to the KrAZ-6322 three-axle truck and the installation of new fire control devices. Only one prototype of this type was built, after which work stopped. However, this fact did not prevent the army from adopting “Bastion-03” into service.
As a result of the negative processes of recent years, the Kremenchug Automobile Plant began bankruptcy proceedings, and now Ukraine does not have its own truck chassis. As a result, for the new modernization of “Hurricane” it was necessary to use a foreign-made car. At the same time, very bold plans are taking place. If the new MLRS shows itself well, the army will consider switching to such imported chassis. The possibility of launching the production of such machines is not excluded.
The modernization of fire control systems is undoubtedly a plus. Any modern devices for calculating data will have serious advantages over the standard equipment of the 9K57. However, in all likelihood, the Bureviy project is about half-measures. The standard sight of the launcher has been retained, which does not allow using all the advantages of electronics and automation. The statements about the possibility of interaction between MLRS and reconnaissance UAVs look interesting. A strike on the target designation of the drone can be delivered in the shortest possible time.
“Bureviy” retains compatibility with old 220-mm rockets, which makes it possible to use existing stocks. They plan to get rid of the limitations on the firing range due to completely new shells. However, the timing of their appearance and the ability of the Ukrainian industry to mass-produce such products remain in question.
Old in a new way
In general, the promising Ukrainian MLRS looks ambiguous. The main goal of the Bureviy project was to replace the outdated platform – and this was done, at least in the context of a prototype. An important step was the renewal of communication and control facilities. However, the key components responsible for firing and hitting a target have remained the same, at the level of technologies of past decades.
In its current form, the Ukrainian modernization of the old “Hurricane” provides advantages only of a production and operational nature. The main combat characteristics, despite the innovations in the field of MSA, remain the same. Until the appearance of an armored cabin, new extended-range projectiles, etc. the potential of the Bureviy project will not grow.
The only serious advantage is the theoretical possibility of building new combat vehicles. However, problems are to be expected here as well. In recent years, Ukraine has developed and presented various types of weapons and equipment – but not all of them reached at least a small series. Considering the composition and cost of modern components for the Bureviy MLRS, a negative scenario can be expected.
Thus, from the technical point of view, the Bureviy project looks quite interesting. It offers an upgrade to an existing sample, although it does not allow for a dramatic increase in characteristics. At the same time, the cost of MLRS will be too high – and the army will not be able to order a large amount of such equipment. Moreover, as often happened in the past, the current prototype may remain in a single copy.