Nigeria Army and boko haram

 

Nigerian Army crest.gif

Since the start of the cancer called boko haram which have started in this country,my fellow country men have been asking why cant the glorious Nigerian Army over-whelmed the insurgent but what most people do not know is that what we are fighting is not normal warfare and our fighting men are facing a type of war that is not in a part of the military doctrine

military doctrine from encylopedia wikipedia is the expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operationsbattles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, rather than hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military. It helps standardize operations, facilitating readiness by establishing common ways of accomplishing military tasks.

for the security forces to defeat the terrorist a new special type of counter terrorist strategy must be used that will take into cognisance of the enemy that they are fighting

in the like the saying of the glorious Nigeria Army ,victory belongs to GOD only and he will grant us the victory and peace we need

‘Israel Can’t Erase The Nakba From History’ By Saeb Erekat

May 17 2014 “ICH” – “Maan” – May 15, 2014 – Today is the anniversary of what we Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, our catastrophe — although a single word cannot begin to explain it, and a single day cannot begin to commemorate it.

More than ever before, Israel needs come to terms with the horrors it has caused since 1948, by ending its subjugation of millions rather than intensifying its denial and trying to legitimize its persecution. Peace can only come through justice and reconciliation.

This day, in 1948, marks the forced exile of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands. Some were subjected to brutal massacres, many fled for fear of their lives. A few managed to stay in what would become Israel. All suffered. Sixty-six years later, all continue to suffer.

The Nakba is a story of fear and intimidation, of denial and persecution, a cruel, unending reality.

Today in occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian families are evicted from their homes due to claims that their property belonged to Jews before 1948, while being forbidden from returning to their pre-1948 homes in West Jerusalem.

In Gaza — one of the most densely populated areas in the world — 1.2 million refugees overlook the open areas of what is now southern Israel. In my own home town, Jericho, there are two refugee camps where thousands continue to live in miserable conditions. In 2014, Palestinian children died of starvation at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.
 

(UNRWA/Archive)

Israel, which claims to be a democracy for all its citizens, continues to ban the villagers of Iqrit and Kufr Birem, two Christian villages in the Galilee, from returning to their lands, despite a ruling from the Israeli High Court of Justice on the matter.

This is not the only example of persecution within Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promotion of the “nationality bill,” determining Israel as the Jewish nation-state, is one more in a long line of discriminatory laws against a fifth of Israel’s own population, the original inhabitants of the land. 

A list of laws which make it not only acceptable, but legally admissible, to discriminate against Israel’s own citizens for belonging to a different ethnic-religious group.

Meanwhile, in the land which Israel has illegally occupied since 1967, settlers and soldiers use similar methods of intimidation and fear to force Palestinians from their homes.

The reality in the West Bank is no less than apartheid, and, in Gaza, out and out siege. Both within occupied Palestine and further afield, those who have been waiting 66 years, with their keys in hand, continue to wait.

Palestine has recognized Israel’s right to exist since 1988. We are not asking for Hebrew not to be an official language or Jewish holidays not to be official holidays. The character of Israel is not for us to define.
 

(UNRWA/Archive)

But we will not allow any Palestinian to be portrayed as the immigrant or intruder in his or her own land. We were here in 1948: We were here for centuries before that — Muslims, Christians and Jews — all Palestinians. The concept of an exclusively Jewish state naturally entails the denial of the Nakba. It tells us: “This is our land. You were on it illegally, temporarily, by mistake.” It is a way of asking us to deny the existence of our people and the horrors that befell them in 1948. No people should be asked to do that.

We will not be complicit in the notion that any ethnic-religious group should have dominance over any other. We will not accept the denial of basic human rights to which all are entitled.

Rather than accepting historical responsibility, rather than acknowledging a painful truth about the birth of Israel and addressing it, as a step toward peace, the Israeli government attempts to wipe the event from history.

In Israel, it is forbidden by law to even commemorate the Nakba. If you can erase the narrative, it is much easier to erase the people. This Israeli government, in particular, is taking extraordinary measures to achieve this. Is it any wonder that we have not managed to reach an agreement at this time?

Today, we remember those who have lost their lives, at the hands of their oppressors, in their quest for freedom and dignity. Despite this, we are ready to live side by side in peace with our Israeli neighbors. We hope Israelis, if not their current government, will move in that direction.

At this point we do not know what the future will look like in terms of a solution, or when it will come. What we know for certain is that we will remain.

 
 
 

(UNRWA/Archive)

Saeb Erekat is chief negotiator for the PLO.

Worldwide Open Letter to the Leader of Boko Haram, from Imam Luqman Ahmad

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To Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, from Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. I address you with the blessed greeting of Islam under the assumption that you are a Muslim, and taking into account your statement that you are working in the cause of Allah. It is my understanding that you have received an Islamic education, and have been accustomed to delivering the khutbatul Jum’ah (Friday Sermons). Therefore, I pray to Allah that you remember the good of your teachings; that which upholds the honor and respect due to a Muslim, and I implore you, as well as myself, to fear Allah be He Exalted and Glorified.

I am the imam of a mosque in California, the United States of America, and although I am an American, I do not represent any government, any organization, any group or sect in my address to you. However, I represent myself as a Muslim of conscience, whose intention is to offer you sincere advice (naseeha), as it is your right, and who finds your taking hostage of blameless young women, and murder against the innocent, to be a reprehensible act that warrants condemnation, as well as reprisal.

First of all, let me remind you of the words of our Lord, Allah which there are no other gods beside Him; “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain success” [3:104]. By these words, I am therefore obligated, to condemn your act of taking innocent female hostages, who were not armed, were not engaged in any military action against you, and with whom you had no legal contract of guardianship according to the laws of Islam. This obligation is also based upon the hadith of the Prophet; “whomever sees that which is detestable, he should change it with his hands, and if he is not able then (change it) with his tongue, and if he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith”. [Muslim].

The blood, the property, and the honor of a Muslim is sacred according to the laws of Islam, based upon the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ; “the blood, property, and the honor of a Muslim is sacred” [Muslim]. Without any justifiable claims to these young women according to the divine laws of our faith, your taking them hostage against their will, can only be regarded as disobedience to Allah, a criminal act, and in contradiction of our divine laws, warranting the condemnation of Allah.

Your removing them from the shelter of their beds is an affront, and a violation of their safety guaranteed to them by the law of God; “The Muslim, is the one from other Muslims are safe from his hand and his tongue” [Muslim]. It is also a violation of their honor which is sacred according to the edict of our holy Prophet ﷺ. These young women bear no crime which warrants their captivity and being held against their will. It is my duty to advise you that you are in violation of international law, and more importantly, the laws of God Almighty, Allah be He Exalted and Glorified.

If you claim that you have taken these girls as captives under the auspices of war, then I reiterate to you that these young women were clearly non-combatants, whose presence at the school (which you destroyed without cause), was to gain an education, and they were clearly, not armed, . If you still claim that you are at war, and that they were indeed the spoils of war, then they have the right to be ransomed by their families, a right that you neglected. If you seek to force them into sex with your followers then verily Allah has said: “But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)” [24:33].

Regarding your claim that you are at war against Western Education, then you should know that seeking knowledge is a means by which people come to know Allah, be He Exalted and Glorified. Our scholars, may Allah have mercy upon them, have consistently upheld the value of education, and our beloved Prophet ﷺ has said: “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim”. You should know also that knowledge does not belong to the East, nor to the West. All knowledge is the property of the Almighty God, Allah. Of it, is that which is beneficial, and that which is not beneficial. Thus your jihad against western education is a jihad created by your own whim as it lacks textual merit according to our scriptures.

As for your desire to make your illegally acquired captives into wives, then you should know that marriages are invalid without the permission of a guardian. This is based upon the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ: “There is no marriage without a guardian and two witnesses”. [Abu Dawood].The lawful and rightful guardians of your captives, are their fathers, their brothers, their uncles, and those who are duly charged with guardianship by legal right according to the Quran and the Sunna.
The whole world finds your taking hostage of over 200 innocent Nigerian girls in the still of night, a reprehensible and condemnable act. It is an action that breaks all laws of civility, decency, and moral uprightness. If the injunctions of our Lord, and world opinion are of no concern to you, then consider if your own daughters, sisters, and mothers were taken by force in the middle of the night, and forced into captivity against their will? Undoubtedly, you would condemn such an action and find it distressing. Therefore consider the parents, the brothers, the sisters and the relatives of those whom you have taken captive, and have forcefully cut them off them from their families, while Allah sub’haanahu ta’ala has commanded that family ties are maintained and not broken. Furthermore, our beloved Prophet ﷺ has declared that: “none of you have (truly) believed until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”. It is not befitting for you to claim to follow Islam while disregarding its most sacred tenants.

As for your slaughter of Christians, the burning of their villages, and the terrorizing of their populations, you should know that under sacred law, it is not permissible for you to fight those who do not fight you, and who have not kicked you out of your homes. “Allah forbids you not regarding those who do not fight you in your religion, and do not expel you from your homes, to do good by them and treat them justly, for verily Allah loves the just. [60:8] Their safety, and the safety of all non-combatants is a trust between you and Allah be He Elevated and Glorious, far above what they ascribe to Him. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ had covenants with the Christians of Najran, the Christians of Assyria and the Monks of Mount Sinai, that remained in effect up until his death, and that were upheld by the Khulafaa Ar-Raashideen and those that followed. These covenants, guaranteed their safety as non-combatants . It is not permissible for you to break the covenants with the Christians that have been enacted by Allah and His Messenger ﷺ . If you want Allah’s help in your endeavor, then you must take heed to being just and righteous, and uphold that which Allah and His Messenger ﷺ upheld, and fear Allah, for surely Allah does not aid the wicked.

I appeal to your knowledge of the Quran and the Sunna, which both expressly prohibit the taking of the innocent into forced captivity, and to your reality that you will have to answer to Allah, on a day where there will be no shade except His shade, and risk eternal condemnation to the hell fire. I urge you to repent for your actions, for Allah is forgiving and Merciful, and I humbly request that you return your captives, safe and unharmed to their parents and to the bosoms of their mothers, who have cared for them since birth, nurtured them, and who have more right to them than you do. As verily our Lord commands: “Verily God commands you to remit the trusts to whom they are do, and when you judge between people, judge between them in fairness.” [4:58]

Your actions constitute oppression, so beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah, and let this open worldwide letter, serve as reminder, and as a hujja (proof) for you or against you on the day when you will stand before Allah, the Almighty, and are compelled to answer for these reprehensible actions. The beloved companion of the Prophet, Umar Ibn al-Khattaab, once said: “fear your sins more than you fear your enemy because your sins pose a greater threat to you than your enemy does“. May Allah guide you, myself, and all others who lead, or follow, to justice and mercy.
Imam Luqman Ahmad
Imam Luqman Ahmad is the Imam and Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento, California. He can be reached at imamluqman@masjidibrahim.comhttp://www.masjidibrahim.com

 

TOW 2 Wire-Guided Anti-Tank Missile, United States of America

TOW 2 wire guided missile

The BGM-71 TOW wire-guided heavy anti-tank missile is produced by Raytheon Systems Company. The weapon is used in anti-armour, anti-bunker, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing roles. TOW is in service with over 40 armed forces and is integrated on over 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms worldwide.

TOW 2 missile system development

The TOW missile system has been in service since 1970 with more than 650,000 missiles produced. Current production versions are: TOW 2A (BGM-71E), which entered production in 1987 with over 118,000 missiles delivered; TOW 2B (BGM-71F), which entered production in 1991 with over 40,000 missiles delivered and is designed to complement rather than replace TOW 2A; TOW 2B Aero; and TOW 2A bunker buster (BGM-71H).

A production contract for the new extended-range TOW 2B Aero was awarded by the US Army in February 2004. The contract was for 976 missiles, delivered by December 2006. A US Army contract for more than 2,700 TOW 2B and TOW 2B Aero missiles (including practice rounds) was placed in July 2004. TOW 2B Aero with ITAS has been selected for the US Marine Corps’ next-generation AAWS-H (anti-armour weapon system-heavy) programme.

The TOW 2 missile system was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which constituted the first operational firing of the TOW 2B missile.

TOW 2 missile orders and deliveries

“TOW 2 is used in anti-armour, anti-bunker, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing roles.”

In August 2005, Kuwait requested the sale of 436 (292 TOW 2A, 144 TOW 2B) TOW missiles.

In September 2006, the US Army placed the first production contract, with five one-year options, for the new TOW 2B RF missile, a wireless version.

In October 2007, the US Congress was notified of the proposed sale of 2000 TOW 2A missiles to Pakistan and 2000 TOW 2A missiles to Israel.

In November 2007, Canada placed an order for 462 TOW 2A RF bunker buster missiles, the first export order for this missile variant.

In January 2008, Kuwait requested the sale of 2,106 TOW 2A RF and 1,404 TOW 2B RF missiles.

In September 2008, Egypt requested the sale of 6,900 TOW 2A missiles to replace its ageing inventory.

In July 2010, the US government placed a $55m contract with Raytheon to deliver TOW missiles to Saudi Arabia under a foreign military sales agreement.

Raytheon Technical Services received a $77.9m contract in March 2012 to deliver logistics and engineering support for subsystems and related equipment of the US Army TOW missiles.

In October 2012, Raytheon was awarded a $349m five-year contract to deliver 6,676 new wireless TOW missiles to the US military.

TOW 2 vehicle and air-mounted missile systems

The missiles can be fired from the ground using a tripod-mounted launch tube or installed on vehicles. The TOW missile system can be fitted as a single-tube pedestal mount on military vehicles or as two-tube or four-tube under-armour systems on vehicles such as the improved TOW vehicle M901, Desert Warrior, PiranhaUS Marine Corps LAVDardo Hitfist andBradley M2/M3.

Airborne TOW is in service in more than 13 countries. Over 2,100 units have been delivered and helicopters fitted with the TOW missile include theAgustaWestland Lynx, AgustaWestland A129, Bell Textron 206L, UH-1 Huey, Hughes 500MD helicopter, Eurocopter Bo 105 and Bell Textron AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.

TOW anti-armour missile

The missile has command to line-of-sight guidance. The weapons operator uses a telescopic sight to view a point on the target and then fires the missile. The missile has a two-stage ATK (Alliant Techsystems) solid propellant rocket motor. The operator continues to view and track the target through the sight. Guidance signals from the guidance computer are transmitted along two wires, which spool from the back of the missile to the control system on the missile. The Chandler Evans CACS-2 control system uses differential piston type actuators.

“The TOW missiles can be fired from the ground using a tripod-mounted launch tube.”

TOW missile warheads are supplied by Aerojet of Sacramento, California, with production facilities in Socorro, New Mexico.

The missile is fitted with a high-intensity thermal beacon, which provides a long-wave infrared tracking source and a xenon beacon for short-wave tracking. This dual-tracking system provides increased resistance to electro-optical and infrared countermeasures.

TOW 2A anti-tank missile

For penetration of tanks protected with explosive reactive armour (ERA), TOW 2A is equipped with a tandem warhead. A small disrupter charge detonates the reactive armour and allows the main shaped charge to penetrate the main armour.

TOW 2A bunker buster missile

A ‘bunker buster’ variant of the TOW 2A, to defeat field fortifications, bunkers and urban structures, has been developed and fielded by the US Army. The TOW 2A bunker buster has a range of 3,750m. It is scheduled to arm the US Army’s anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) variant of the Stryker combat vehicle family.

TOW 2B anti-tank missile

TOW 2B, operates in a ‘flyover shoot down’ top attack mode, unlike other versions which are direct attack. It features a dual-mode target sensor designed by Thales (formerly Thomson-Thorn) Missile Electronics, which includes laser profilometer and magnetic sensor, and new warhead section, produced by Aerojet.

“The TOW 2 missile system was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

It resembles the TOW 2A but without the extendible probe, and is armed with two explosively formed tantalum penetrator (EFP) warheads. The EFP warheads detonate simultaneously, one pointing downwards, the other slightly offset to give an increased hit probability. The warhead material is designed to generate pyrophoric effects within the damaged target.

TOW 2B Aero anti-tank missile

An extended range TOW 2B missile, TOW 2B Aero, has a range of 4.5km, which is achieved in only a few seconds longer than the flight time of TOW 2B to 3.75km.

Two modifications are made to the TOW 2B. A longer wire is required for the longer range and a new aerodynamic nose has been fitted to allow stable, controllable flight to the extended range, while using the current propulsion system.

TOW 2B RF anti-tank missile

Another development of the TOW 2B Aero, the wireless TOW 2B RF is in production. TOW 2B RF is modified with a one-way, stealthy radio-frequency command link which dispenses with the wire link and gives a range of 4.5km. The system is compatible with current launchers.

ITAS improved target acquisition system

In 1999, Raytheon Company was awarded a US Army full rate production contract for the TOW improved target acquisition system (ITAS) for the HMMWV launcher and the ground mounted TOW. ITAS uses a thermal imager based on a standard advanced dewar assembly (SADA II) focal plane array, eyesafe laser rangefinder, and a gunner-aided target tracker. ITAS improves target recognition range performance and hit probability.

“The TOW missile has command to line-of-sight guidance.”

Between 1999 and 2003, the US Army procured 709 ITAS systems.

In April 2005, a contract for the resumption of system production was awarded. The system has been fielded in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. ITAS has also been bought by Canada for new LAV III vehicles armed with TOW missiles.

TOW FF fire-and-forget missile

In September 2000, the US Army awarded an EMD (engineering and manufacturing development) contract for a wireless TOW fire and forget missile to Raytheon Systems Company. However the US Army cancelled the project in 2002.

TOW FF was to have an advanced imaging infrared staring focal plane array seeker.

Elevated TOW anti-tank missile

An elevated TOW system (ETS) has been developed by an international consortium consisting of Raytheon, GM Delco, Indra of Spain, and E.Falck Schmidt of Denmark.

The system, based on a Danish M113 armoured personnel carrier, uses an elevating mast fitted with a pod containing a lightweight launcher and four TOW launch tubes. In August 1999, the ETS successfully completed demonstration firing tests at the Danish Army Training Centre in Denmark.

source -http://www.army-technology.com/projects/tow/

Katyusha Rocket

Katyusha multiple rocket launchers (RussianКатю́шаIPA: [kɐˈtʲʉʂə] ( )) are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War IIMultiple rocket launchers such as these deliver a devastating amount of explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive and easy to produce. Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union,[1] were usually mounted on trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha(and other self-propelled artillery) another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.

Katyusha weapons of World War II included the BM-13 launcher, light BM-8, and heavy BM-31. Today, the nickname is also applied to newer truck-mounted Soviet (and not only Soviet) multiple rocket launchers—notably the common BM-21—and derivatives.

 

 

The nickname[edit]

Initially, concerns for secrecy kept their military designation from being known by the soldiers who operated them. They were called by code names such as Kostikov guns (after the head of the RNII – the Reaction-Engine Scientific Research Institute), and finally classed as Guards Mortars.[2] The name BM-13 was only allowed into secret documents in 1942, and remained classified until after the war.[3]

Because they were marked with the letter K (for Voronezh Komintern Factory),[3] Red Army troops adopted a nickname fromMikhail Isakovsky‘s popular wartime song, Katyusha, about a girl longing for her absent beloved, who has gone away on military service.[4] Katyusha is the Russian equivalent ofKatie, an endearing diminutive form of the name Katherine: Yekaterina →Katya →Katyusha.

German troops coined the sobriquet Stalin’s organ (GermanStalinorgel), after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, prompted by the visual resemblance of the launch array to a church organ and the sound of the weapon’s rocket motors. Weapons of this type are known by the same name in Denmark (DanishStalinorgel), Finland (FinnishStalinin urut), France(FrenchOrgues de Staline), Norway (NorwegianStalinorgel), the Netherlands (DutchStalinorgel), Hungary (HungarianSztálinorgona), and in Sweden (Stalins orgel).[4]

The heavy BM-31 launcher was also referred to as Andryusha (Андрюша, an affectionate diminutive of “Andrew”).[5] But in fact, only the Soviet press used this name.

World War II[edit]

A battery of Katyusha launchers fires at German forces during the Great Patriotic War. 1941–1945.

Katyusha rocket launchers invented in Voronezh, were mounted on many platforms during World War II, including on trucks, artillery tractors, tanks, and armoured trains, as well as on naval and riverine vessels as assault support weapons, Soviet engineers also mounted single Katyusha rockets on lengths of railway track to serve in urban combat.

The design was relatively simple, consisting of racks of parallel rails on which rockets were mounted, with a folding frame to raise the rails to launch position. Each truck had between 14 and 48 launchers. The M-13 rocket of the BM-13 system was 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) long, 13.2 cm (5.2 in) in diameter and weighed 42 kg (93 lb).

The weapon is less accurate than conventional artillery guns, but is extremely effective in saturation bombardment, and was particularly feared by German soldiers. A battery of four BM-13 launchers could fire a salvo in 7–10 seconds that delivered 4.35 tons of high explosives over a 400,000-square-metre (4,300,000 sq ft) impact zone,[2] making its power roughly equivalent to that of 72 guns. With an efficient crew, the launchers could redeploy to a new location immediately after firing, denying the enemy the opportunity for counterbattery fireKatyusha batteries were often massed in very large numbers to create a shock effect on enemy forces. The weapon’s disadvantage was the long time it took to reload a launcher, in contrast to conventional guns which could sustain a continuous low rate of fire.

The distinctive howling sound of the rocket launching terrified the German troops[6] and could be used for psychological warfare. The rocket’s devastating destruction also helped to lower the morale of the German army.

Development[edit]

BM-31-12 on ZIS-12 at the Museum on Sapun Mountain, Sevastopol, Ukraine

In June 1938, the Soviet Jet Propulsion Research Institute (RNII) in Leningrad was authorized by the Main Artillery Directorate (GAU) to develop a multiple rocket launcher for the RS-132 aircraft rocket (RS for Reaktivnyy Snaryad, ‘rocket-powered shell’). I. Gvay led a design team in Chelyabinsk, Russia, which built several prototype launchers firing the modified 132 mm M-132 rockets over the sides of ZiS-5trucks. These proved unstable, and V.N. Galkovskiy proposed mounting the launch rails longitudinally. In August 1939, the result was the BM-13 (BM stands for Боевая Mашина (translit. Boyevaya Mashina), ‘combat vehicle’ for M-13 rockets).[1]

The first large-scale testing of the rocket launchers took place at the end of 1938, when 233 rounds of various types were used. A salvo of rockets could completely straddle a target at a range of 5,500 metres (3.4 mi). But the artillery branch was not fond of the Katyusha, because it took up to 50 minutes to load and fire 24 rounds, while a conventional howitzer could fire 95 to 150 rounds in the same time.[citation needed] Testing with various rockets was conducted through 1940, and the BM-13-16 with launch rails for sixteen rockets was authorized for production. Only forty launchers were built before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.[4]

After their success in the first month of the war, mass production was ordered and the development of other models proceeded. TheKatyusha was inexpensive and could be manufactured in light industrial installations which did not have the heavy equipment to build conventional artillery gun barrels.[2] By the end of 1942, 3,237 Katyusha launchers of all types had been built, and by the end of the war total production reached about 10,000.[7]

Postwar Katyusha on a ZiL-157truck

The truck-mounted Katyushas were installed on ZiS-6 6×4 trucks, as well as the two-axle ZiS-5 and ZiS-5V. In 1941, a small number of BM-13 launchers were mounted on STZ-5 artillery tractors. A few were also tried on KV tank chassis as the KV-1K, but this was a needless waste of heavy armour. Starting in 1942, they were also mounted on various British, Canadian and U.S. Lend-Lease trucks, in which case they were sometimes referred to as BM-13S. The cross-country performance of the Studebaker US6 2½ ton truck was so good that it became the GAU’s standard mounting in 1943, designated BM-13N (normalizovanniy, ‘standardized’), and more than 1,800 of this model were manufactured by the end of World War II.[8] After World War II, BM-13s were based on Soviet-built ZiL-151 trucks.

The 82 mm BM-8 was approved in August 1941, and deployed as the BM-8-36 on truck beds and BM-8-24 on T-40 and T-60 light tank chassis. Later these were also installed on GAZ-67 jeeps as the BM-8-8, and on the larger Studebaker trucks as the BM-8-48.[2] In 1942, the team of scientists Leonid Shvarts, Moisei Komissarchik and engineer Yakov Shor received the Stalin prize for the development of the BM-8-48.[9][10]

Based on the M-13, the M-30 rocket was developed in 1942. Its bulbous warhead required it to be fired from a grounded frame, called the M-30 (single frame, four round; later double frame, 8 round), instead of a launch rail mounted on a truck. In 1944 it became the basis for the BM-31-12 truck-mounted launcher.[2]

A battery of BM-13-16 launchers included four firing vehicles, four reload trucks and two technical support trucks, with each firing vehicle having a crew of six. Reloading was executed in 3–4 minutes, although the standard procedure was to switch to a new position some 10 km away due to the ease with which the battery could be identified by the enemy. Three batteries were combined into a division (company), and three divisions into a separate mine-firing regiment of rocket artillery.

Variants[edit]

Soviet World War II missile systems were named according standard templates which are the following:

  • BM-x-y (names used for ground vehicles)
  • M-x-y (names used for towed trailers and sledges)
  • y-M-x (names used for navy)

where:

  • x is a model of a missile.
  • y is a number of launch rails/tubes.

In particular, BM-8-16 is a vehicle which fires M-8 missiles and has 16 rails. BM-30-4 is a vehicle which fires M-30 missiles and has 4 launch tubes. Short names such as BM-8 or BM-13 were used too. Number of launch rails/tubes is absent here. Such names describe launchers only no matter a vehicle they are mounted on. In particular BM-8-24 had a number of variants: vehicle mounted (ZiS-5 truck), tank mounted (T-40) and tractor mounted (STZ-3). All of them had the same name: BM-8-24. Other launchers had a number of variants mounted on different vehicles too. Typical set of vehicles for soviet missile systems is the following:

  • ZiS-5 (truck),
  • ZiS-6 (truck),
  • GAZ-AA (truck),
  • STZ-3 (tractor),
  • T-40 (tank),
  • Studebaker US6 (truck),
  • Armored train car,
  • River boat,
  • Towed sledge,
  • Towed trailer,
  • Backpack (portable variant, so called “mountain Katyusha”),
  • ZiS-151 (truck, used after the war);

Note: There was also an experimental KV-1K – Katyusha mounted on KV-1 tank which was not taken in service.

A list of some implementations of the Katyusha follows:[11][12][13]

Caliber (mm) Tubes/rails Weapon name Chassis
82 mm 1 BM-8 Improvised vehicle mount, towed trailer or sled
82 mm 6 M-8-6 Towed trailer or sled
82 mm 8 BM-8-8 Willys MB Jeep
82 mm 12 M-8-12 Towed trailer or sled
82 mm 16 16-M-8 Project 1125 armored river boat
82 mm 24 BM-8-24 T-40 light tank, T-60 light tank
82 mm 24 24-M-8 Project 1125 armored river boat
82 mm 36 BM-8-36 ZiS-5 truck, ZiS-6 truck
82 mm 40 BM-8-40 Towed trailer, GAZ-AA truck
82 mm 48 BM-8-48 ZiS-6 truck, Studebaker US6 U3 truck, rail carriage
82 mm 72 BM-8-72 Rail carriage
132 mm 24 BM-13 ZIS-6 truck, improvised vehicle mount, towed trailer or sled
132 mm 6 6-M-13 Project 1125 armored river boat
132 mm 16 BM-13-16 International K7 “Inter” truck, International M-5-5-318 truck, Fordson WO8T truck, Ford/Marmon-Herrington HH6-COE4 truck, Chevrolet G-7117 truck, Studebaker US6 U3 truck, GMC CCKW-352M-13 truck, rail carriage
300 mm 4 M-20-4 Towed trailer
300 mm 4 M-30-4 Towed trailer
300 mm 8 M-31-8 Towed trailer
300 mm 12 BM-31-12 Studebaker US6 U3 truck

Rocket variants[edit]

Rockets used in the above implementations were:[12]

Weapon name Caliber (mm) Range (max) Warhead
M-8 82 mm 5,900 m (6,500 yd) 0.64 kg (1.4 lb)
M-13 132 mm 8,740 m (9,560 yd) 4.9 kg (11 lb)
M-13DD 132 mm 11,800 m (12,900 yd) 4.9 kg (11 lb)
M-13UK 132 mm 7,900 m (8,600 yd) 4.9 kg (11 lb)
M-20 132 mm 5,050 m (5,520 yd) 18.4 kg (41 lb)
M-30 300 mm 2,800 m (3,100 yd) 28.9 kg (64 lb)
M-31 300 mm 4,325 m (4,730 yd) 28.9 kg (64 lb)
M-31UK 300 mm 4,000 m (4,400 yd) 28.9 kg (64 lb)

The M-8 and M-13 rocket could also be fitted with smoke warheads, although this was not common.

Combat history[edit]

BM-13 battery fire, during the Battle of Berlin, April 1945, with metal blast covers pulled over the windshields

The multiple rocket launchers were top secret in the beginning of World War II. A special unit of the NKVD secret police was raised to operate them.[2] On July 14, 1941, an experimental artillery battery of seven launchers was first used in battle at Rudnya in Smolensk province of Russia, under the command of Captain Ivan Flyorov, destroying a concentration of German troops with tanks, armored vehicles and trucks at the marketplace, causing massive German Army casualties and its retreat from the town in panic. The event had been witnessed by a future military historian, then a 20-year-old Russian Sergeant Andrey Sapronov (90 years old in 2011). Following the success, the Red Army organized new Guards mortar batteries for the support of infantry divisions. A battery’s complement was standardized at four launchers. They remained under NKVD control until German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers became common later in the war.[7]

On August 8, 1941, Stalin ordered the formation of eight special Guards mortar regiments under the direct control of the General Headquarters Reserve (Stavka-VGK). Each regiment comprised three battalions of three batteries, totalling 36 BM-13 or BM-8 launchers. Independent Guards mortar battalions were also formed, comprising 36 launchers in three batteries of twelve. By the end of 1941, there were eight regiments, 35 independent battalions, and two independent batteries in service, fielding a total of 554 launchers.[14]

In June 1942 heavy Guards mortar battalions were formed around the new M-30 static rocket launch frames, consisting of 96 launchers in three batteries. In July, a battalion of BM-13s was added to the establishment of a tank corps.[15] In 1944, the BM-31 was used in motorized heavy Guards mortar battalions of 48 launchers. In 1943, Guards mortar brigades, and later divisions, were formed equipped with static launchers.[14]

By the end of 1942, 57 regiments were in service—together with the smaller independent battalions, this was the equivalent of 216 batteries: 21% BM-8 light launchers, 56% BM-13, and 23% M-30 heavy launchers. By the end of the war, the equivalent of 518 batteries were in service.[14]

Post-war development[edit]

Russian forces use BM-27 rocket launchers during the Second Chechen War

The success and economy of multiple rocket launchers (MRL) have led them to continue to be developed. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union fielded several models of Katyusha-like MRL, notably the BM-21 launchers somewhat inspired by the earlier weapon, and the largerBM-27. Advances in artillery munitions have been applied to some Katyusha-type multiple launch rocket systems, including bomblet submunitions, remotely deployed land mines, and chemical warheads.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited most of its military arsenal including its large complement of MRLs. In recent history, they have been used by Russian forces during the First and Second Chechen Wars and by Armenian and Azerbaijani forces during theNagorno-Karabakh WarGeorgian government forces are reported to indiscriminately have used BM-21 or similar rocket artillery in fighting in the 2008 South Ossetia war.[16]

Katyusha-like launchers were exported to AfghanistanAngolaCzechoslovakiaEgyptEast GermanyHungaryIranIraqNorth Korea,PolandSyria, and Vietnam. They were also built in Czechoslovakia,[17] the People’s Republic of ChinaNorth Korea, andIran.[citation needed]

Proper Katyushas (BM-13s) also saw action in the Korean War, used by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army against the South and United Nations forces. Soviet BM-13s were known to have been imported to China before the Sino-Soviet split and were operational in the People’s Liberation Army.

Israel captured BM-24 MRLs during the Six-Day War (1967), used them in two battalions during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the 1982 Lebanon War, and later developed theMAR-240 launcher for the same rockets, based on a Sherman tank chassis.

During the 2006 Lebanon WarHezbollah fired between 3,970 and 4,228 rockets, from light truck-mounts and single-rail man-portable launchers. About 95% of these were 122 mm (4.8 in) Syrian-manufactured M-21OF type artillery rockets which carried warheads up to 30 kg (66 lb) and had a range of 20 km, perhaps up to 30 km (19 mi).[18][18][19][20][21] Hamas has launched 122-mm Grad-type Katyusha rockets from the Gaza Strip against several cities in Israel,[22] although they are not reported to have truck-mounted launchers. Although Katyusha originally referred to the mobile launcher, today the rockets are often referred to as Katyushas.

Some allege that the CIA bought Katyushas from the Egyptian military and supplied them to the Mujahideen (via Pakistan’s ISI) during the Soviet Afghan war.[23]

Katyusha-like MRLs were also allegedly used by the Rwandan Patriotic Front during its 1990 invasion of Rwanda, through the 1994 genocide. They were effective in battle, but translated into much anti-Tutsi sentiment in the local media.[24]

It was reported that BM-21 launchers were used against American forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They have also been used in the Afghanistan and Iraq insurgencies. In Iraq, according to Associated Press and Agence France-Presse reports, Katyusha-like rockets were fired at the Green Zone late March 2008.[25][26]

Katyusha rockets were reportedly used by both Gaddafi Loyalists and anti-Gaddafi forces during the 2011 Libyan civil war.[27]

Also, several countries have continued to build and operate Katyusha-like systems well into the 21st century, as for example the Teruel MRL of the Spanish Army.

In February 2013, the Defense Ministry of Yemen reported seizing an Iranian ship, and that the ship’s cargo included (among its other weapons) Katyusha rockets.[28]

The Russian army has mounted some multiple rocket launchers on turretless T-72 tanks and called the weapon a TOS-1. These were developed in the 1980’s, but have been modernized and are in very limited service.

Katyusha rocket launcher from the wikipedia

Katyusha multiple rocket launchers (RussianКатю́шаIPA: [kɐˈtʲʉʂə] ( )) are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War IIMultiple rocket launchers such as these deliver a devastating amount of explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive and easy to produce. Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union,[1] were usually mounted on trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha(and other self-propelled artillery) another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.

Katyusha weapons of World War II included the BM-13 launcher, light BM-8, and heavy BM-31. Today, the nickname is also applied to newer truck-mounted Soviet (and not only Soviet) multiple rocket launchers—notably the common BM-21—and derivatives.

 

 

The nickname[edit]

Initially, concerns for secrecy kept their military designation from being known by the soldiers who operated them. They were called by code names such as Kostikov guns (after the head of the RNII – the Reaction-Engine Scientific Research Institute), and finally classed as Guards Mortars.[2] The name BM-13 was only allowed into secret documents in 1942, and remained classified until after the war.[3]

Because they were marked with the letter K (for Voronezh Komintern Factory),[3] Red Army troops adopted a nickname fromMikhail Isakovsky‘s popular wartime song, Katyusha, about a girl longing for her absent beloved, who has gone away on military service.[4] Katyusha is the Russian equivalent ofKatie, an endearing diminutive form of the name Katherine: Yekaterina →Katya →Katyusha.

German troops coined the sobriquet Stalin’s organ (GermanStalinorgel), after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, prompted by the visual resemblance of the launch array to a church organ and the sound of the weapon’s rocket motors. Weapons of this type are known by the same name in Denmark (DanishStalinorgel), Finland (FinnishStalinin urut), France(FrenchOrgues de Staline), Norway (NorwegianStalinorgel), the Netherlands (DutchStalinorgel), Hungary (HungarianSztálinorgona), and in Sweden (Stalins orgel).[4]

The heavy BM-31 launcher was also referred to as Andryusha (Андрюша, an affectionate diminutive of “Andrew”).[5] But in fact, only the Soviet press used this name.

World War II[edit]

A battery of Katyusha launchers fires at German forces during the Great Patriotic War. 1941–1945.

Katyusha rocket launchers invented in Voronezh, were mounted on many platforms during World War II, including on trucks, artillery tractors, tanks, and armoured trains, as well as on naval and riverine vessels as assault support weapons, Soviet engineers also mounted single Katyusha rockets on lengths of railway track to serve in urban combat.

The design was relatively simple, consisting of racks of parallel rails on which rockets were mounted, with a folding frame to raise the rails to launch position. Each truck had between 14 and 48 launchers. The M-13 rocket of the BM-13 system was 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) long, 13.2 cm (5.2 in) in diameter and weighed 42 kg (93 lb).

The weapon is less accurate than conventional artillery guns, but is extremely effective in saturation bombardment, and was particularly feared by German soldiers. A battery of four BM-13 launchers could fire a salvo in 7–10 seconds that delivered 4.35 tons of high explosives over a 400,000-square-metre (4,300,000 sq ft) impact zone,[2] making its power roughly equivalent to that of 72 guns. With an efficient crew, the launchers could redeploy to a new location immediately after firing, denying the enemy the opportunity for counterbattery fireKatyusha batteries were often massed in very large numbers to create a shock effect on enemy forces. The weapon’s disadvantage was the long time it took to reload a launcher, in contrast to conventional guns which could sustain a continuous low rate of fire.

The distinctive howling sound of the rocket launching terrified the German troops[6] and could be used for psychological warfare. The rocket’s devastating destruction also helped to lower the morale of the German army.

Development[edit]

BM-31-12 on ZIS-12 at the Museum on Sapun Mountain, Sevastopol, Ukraine

In June 1938, the Soviet Jet Propulsion Research Institute (RNII) in Leningrad was authorized by the Main Artillery Directorate (GAU) to develop a multiple rocket launcher for the RS-132 aircraft rocket (RS for Reaktivnyy Snaryad, ‘rocket-powered shell’). I. Gvay led a design team in Chelyabinsk, Russia, which built several prototype launchers firing the modified 132 mm M-132 rockets over the sides of ZiS-5trucks. These proved unstable, and V.N. Galkovskiy proposed mounting the launch rails longitudinally. In August 1939, the result was the BM-13 (BM stands for Боевая Mашина (translit. Boyevaya Mashina), ‘combat vehicle’ for M-13 rockets).[1]

The first large-scale testing of the rocket launchers took place at the end of 1938, when 233 rounds of various types were used. A salvo of rockets could completely straddle a target at a range of 5,500 metres (3.4 mi). But the artillery branch was not fond of the Katyusha, because it took up to 50 minutes to load and fire 24 rounds, while a conventional howitzer could fire 95 to 150 rounds in the same time.[citation needed] Testing with various rockets was conducted through 1940, and the BM-13-16 with launch rails for sixteen rockets was authorized for production. Only forty launchers were built before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.[4]

After their success in the first month of the war, mass production was ordered and the development of other models proceeded. TheKatyusha was inexpensive and could be manufactured in light industrial installations which did not have the heavy equipment to build conventional artillery gun barrels.[2] By the end of 1942, 3,237 Katyusha launchers of all types had been built, and by the end of the war total production reached about 10,000.[7]

Postwar Katyusha on a ZiL-157truck

The truck-mounted Katyushas were installed on ZiS-6 6×4 trucks, as well as the two-axle ZiS-5 and ZiS-5V. In 1941, a small number of BM-13 launchers were mounted on STZ-5 artillery tractors. A few were also tried on KV tank chassis as the KV-1K, but this was a needless waste of heavy armour. Starting in 1942, they were also mounted on various British, Canadian and U.S. Lend-Lease trucks, in which case they were sometimes referred to as BM-13S. The cross-country performance of the Studebaker US6 2½ ton truck was so good that it became the GAU’s standard mounting in 1943, designated BM-13N (normalizovanniy, ‘standardized’), and more than 1,800 of this model were manufactured by the end of World War II.[8] After World War II, BM-13s were based on Soviet-built ZiL-151 trucks.

The 82 mm BM-8 was approved in August 1941, and deployed as the BM-8-36 on truck beds and BM-8-24 on T-40 and T-60 light tank chassis. Later these were also installed on GAZ-67 jeeps as the BM-8-8, and on the larger Studebaker trucks as the BM-8-48.[2] In 1942, the team of scientists Leonid Shvarts, Moisei Komissarchik and engineer Yakov Shor received the Stalin prize for the development of the BM-8-48.[9][10]

Based on the M-13, the M-30 rocket was developed in 1942. Its bulbous warhead required it to be fired from a grounded frame, called the M-30 (single frame, four round; later double frame, 8 round), instead of a launch rail mounted on a truck. In 1944 it became the basis for the BM-31-12 truck-mounted launcher.[2]

A battery of BM-13-16 launchers included four firing vehicles, four reload trucks and two technical support trucks, with each firing vehicle having a crew of six. Reloading was executed in 3–4 minutes, although the standard procedure was to switch to a new position some 10 km away due to the ease with which the battery could be identified by the enemy. Three batteries were combined into a division (company), and three divisions into a separate mine-firing regiment of rocket artillery.

Variants[edit]

Soviet World War II missile systems were named according standard templates which are the following:

  • BM-x-y (names used for ground vehicles)
  • M-x-y (names used for towed trailers and sledges)
  • y-M-x (names used for navy)

where:

  • x is a model of a missile.
  • y is a number of launch rails/tubes.

In particular, BM-8-16 is a vehicle which fires M-8 missiles and has 16 rails. BM-30-4 is a vehicle which fires M-30 missiles and has 4 launch tubes. Short names such as BM-8 or BM-13 were used too. Number of launch rails/tubes is absent here. Such names describe launchers only no matter a vehicle they are mounted on. In particular BM-8-24 had a number of variants: vehicle mounted (ZiS-5 truck), tank mounted (T-40) and tractor mounted (STZ-3). All of them had the same name: BM-8-24. Other launchers had a number of variants mounted on different vehicles too. Typical set of vehicles for soviet missile systems is the following:

  • ZiS-5 (truck),
  • ZiS-6 (truck),
  • GAZ-AA (truck),
  • STZ-3 (tractor),
  • T-40 (tank),
  • Studebaker US6 (truck),
  • Armored train car,
  • River boat,
  • Towed sledge,
  • Towed trailer,
  • Backpack (portable variant, so called “mountain Katyusha”),
  • ZiS-151 (truck, used after the war);

Note: There was also an experimental KV-1K – Katyusha mounted on KV-1 tank which was not taken in service.

A list of some implementations of the Katyusha follows:[11][12][13]

Caliber (mm) Tubes/rails Weapon name Chassis
82 mm 1 BM-8 Improvised vehicle mount, towed trailer or sled
82 mm 6 M-8-6 Towed trailer or sled
82 mm 8 BM-8-8 Willys MB Jeep
82 mm 12 M-8-12 Towed trailer or sled
82 mm 16 16-M-8 Project 1125 armored river boat
82 mm 24 BM-8-24 T-40 light tank, T-60 light tank
82 mm 24 24-M-8 Project 1125 armored river boat
82 mm 36 BM-8-36 ZiS-5 truck, ZiS-6 truck
82 mm 40 BM-8-40 Towed trailer, GAZ-AA truck
82 mm 48 BM-8-48 ZiS-6 truck, Studebaker US6 U3 truck, rail carriage
82 mm 72 BM-8-72 Rail carriage
132 mm 24 BM-13 ZIS-6 truck, improvised vehicle mount, towed trailer or sled
132 mm 6 6-M-13 Project 1125 armored river boat
132 mm 16 BM-13-16 International K7 “Inter” truck, International M-5-5-318 truck, Fordson WO8T truck, Ford/Marmon-Herrington HH6-COE4 truck, Chevrolet G-7117 truck, Studebaker US6 U3 truck, GMC CCKW-352M-13 truck, rail carriage
300 mm 4 M-20-4 Towed trailer
300 mm 4 M-30-4 Towed trailer
300 mm 8 M-31-8 Towed trailer
300 mm 12 BM-31-12 Studebaker US6 U3 truck

Rocket variants[edit]

Rockets used in the above implementations were:[12]

Weapon name Caliber (mm) Range (max) Warhead
M-8 82 mm 5,900 m (6,500 yd) 0.64 kg (1.4 lb)
M-13 132 mm 8,740 m (9,560 yd) 4.9 kg (11 lb)
M-13DD 132 mm 11,800 m (12,900 yd) 4.9 kg (11 lb)
M-13UK 132 mm 7,900 m (8,600 yd) 4.9 kg (11 lb)
M-20 132 mm 5,050 m (5,520 yd) 18.4 kg (41 lb)
M-30 300 mm 2,800 m (3,100 yd) 28.9 kg (64 lb)
M-31 300 mm 4,325 m (4,730 yd) 28.9 kg (64 lb)
M-31UK 300 mm 4,000 m (4,400 yd) 28.9 kg (64 lb)

The M-8 and M-13 rocket could also be fitted with smoke warheads, although this was not common.

Combat history[edit]

BM-13 battery fire, during the Battle of Berlin, April 1945, with metal blast covers pulled over the windshields

The multiple rocket launchers were top secret in the beginning of World War II. A special unit of the NKVD secret police was raised to operate them.[2] On July 14, 1941, an experimental artillery battery of seven launchers was first used in battle at Rudnya in Smolensk province of Russia, under the command of Captain Ivan Flyorov, destroying a concentration of German troops with tanks, armored vehicles and trucks at the marketplace, causing massive German Army casualties and its retreat from the town in panic. The event had been witnessed by a future military historian, then a 20-year-old Russian Sergeant Andrey Sapronov (90 years old in 2011). Following the success, the Red Army organized new Guards mortar batteries for the support of infantry divisions. A battery’s complement was standardized at four launchers. They remained under NKVD control until German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers became common later in the war.[7]

On August 8, 1941, Stalin ordered the formation of eight special Guards mortar regiments under the direct control of the General Headquarters Reserve (Stavka-VGK). Each regiment comprised three battalions of three batteries, totalling 36 BM-13 or BM-8 launchers. Independent Guards mortar battalions were also formed, comprising 36 launchers in three batteries of twelve. By the end of 1941, there were eight regiments, 35 independent battalions, and two independent batteries in service, fielding a total of 554 launchers.[14]

In June 1942 heavy Guards mortar battalions were formed around the new M-30 static rocket launch frames, consisting of 96 launchers in three batteries. In July, a battalion of BM-13s was added to the establishment of a tank corps.[15] In 1944, the BM-31 was used in motorized heavy Guards mortar battalions of 48 launchers. In 1943, Guards mortar brigades, and later divisions, were formed equipped with static launchers.[14]

By the end of 1942, 57 regiments were in service—together with the smaller independent battalions, this was the equivalent of 216 batteries: 21% BM-8 light launchers, 56% BM-13, and 23% M-30 heavy launchers. By the end of the war, the equivalent of 518 batteries were in service.[14]

Post-war development[edit]

Russian forces use BM-27 rocket launchers during the Second Chechen War

The success and economy of multiple rocket launchers (MRL) have led them to continue to be developed. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union fielded several models of Katyusha-like MRL, notably the BM-21 launchers somewhat inspired by the earlier weapon, and the largerBM-27. Advances in artillery munitions have been applied to some Katyusha-type multiple launch rocket systems, including bomblet submunitions, remotely deployed land mines, and chemical warheads.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited most of its military arsenal including its large complement of MRLs. In recent history, they have been used by Russian forces during the First and Second Chechen Wars and by Armenian and Azerbaijani forces during theNagorno-Karabakh WarGeorgian government forces are reported to indiscriminately have used BM-21 or similar rocket artillery in fighting in the 2008 South Ossetia war.[16]

Katyusha-like launchers were exported to AfghanistanAngolaCzechoslovakiaEgyptEast GermanyHungaryIranIraqNorth Korea,PolandSyria, and Vietnam. They were also built in Czechoslovakia,[17] the People’s Republic of ChinaNorth Korea, andIran.[citation needed]

Proper Katyushas (BM-13s) also saw action in the Korean War, used by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army against the South and United Nations forces. Soviet BM-13s were known to have been imported to China before the Sino-Soviet split and were operational in the People’s Liberation Army.

Israel captured BM-24 MRLs during the Six-Day War (1967), used them in two battalions during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the 1982 Lebanon War, and later developed theMAR-240 launcher for the same rockets, based on a Sherman tank chassis.

During the 2006 Lebanon WarHezbollah fired between 3,970 and 4,228 rockets, from light truck-mounts and single-rail man-portable launchers. About 95% of these were 122 mm (4.8 in) Syrian-manufactured M-21OF type artillery rockets which carried warheads up to 30 kg (66 lb) and had a range of 20 km, perhaps up to 30 km (19 mi).[18][18][19][20][21] Hamas has launched 122-mm Grad-type Katyusha rockets from the Gaza Strip against several cities in Israel,[22] although they are not reported to have truck-mounted launchers. Although Katyusha originally referred to the mobile launcher, today the rockets are often referred to as Katyushas.

Some allege that the CIA bought Katyushas from the Egyptian military and supplied them to the Mujahideen (via Pakistan’s ISI) during the Soviet Afghan war.[23]

Katyusha-like MRLs were also allegedly used by the Rwandan Patriotic Front during its 1990 invasion of Rwanda, through the 1994 genocide. They were effective in battle, but translated into much anti-Tutsi sentiment in the local media.[24]

It was reported that BM-21 launchers were used against American forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They have also been used in the Afghanistan and Iraq insurgencies. In Iraq, according to Associated Press and Agence France-Presse reports, Katyusha-like rockets were fired at the Green Zone late March 2008.[25][26]

Katyusha rockets were reportedly used by both Gaddafi Loyalists and anti-Gaddafi forces during the 2011 Libyan civil war.[27]

Also, several countries have continued to build and operate Katyusha-like systems well into the 21st century, as for example the Teruel MRL of the Spanish Army.

In February 2013, the Defense Ministry of Yemen reported seizing an Iranian ship, and that the ship’s cargo included (among its other weapons) Katyusha rockets.[28]

The Russian army has mounted some multiple rocket launchers on turretless T-72 tanks and called the weapon a TOS-1. These were developed in the 1980’s, but have been modernized and are in very limited service.