The BM-21 Grad (Hail) rocket launcher is the world's most widely-used rocket launcher system. Introduced to the Red Army in 1963 as a replacement for the BM-14 140mm rocket launcher, the BM-21's rockets carry the same sized warhead as the 140mm, and have a much longer range. In addition, because the rockets are smaller in diameter, more rockets can be carried per launcher.
The BM-21 can be operated and fired from the cab, or it can be fired from up to 60 meters away remotely. All 40 rockets can be fired in 6 seconds or they can be fired singly or in groups at 0.5 second intervals. Reloading the launcher takes less than 8 minutes.
The BM-21 fires a 122mm diameter rocket out to a range of 20,380 meters. Although the rockets are primarily fin stabilized, each launch tube is rifled to improve the accuracy of the rocket. In addition to HE-fragmentation, chemical, and incendiary warheads, the BM-21 is also capable of firing extended range munitions out to 36,000 meters.
The BM-21 is currently in service with over 50 countries worldwide, and is manufactured in Russia, North Korea, Egypt, China and Czechoslovakia.
The BM-21 is a 40 round multiple launch rocket system mounted on the rear of a Ural-375D 6?6 cargo truck chassis. The rockets are stacked in 4 banks of 10 rockets apiece. Unlike other rocket launchers, there is no blast shielding around the cab of the transport vehicle.