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    A Tornado With Rockets: New Russian Launch Vehicles Get Guided Missiles

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    Two Russian multiple launch rocket systems, Smerch and Tornado-S, will be equipped with advanced guided missiles for better targeting, according to the deputy chief of the Strategic Missile Forces and Artillery of the Russian Ground Forces.

    "The Smerch and Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems will get [advanced guided missiles] in the future for better accuracy," Alexander Dragovalovsky, deputy chief of the Strategic Missile Forces and Artillery of the Russian Ground Forces, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. He noted that this would significantly improve their firepower.

    Earlier, it was reported that the Tornado-S systems are expected to greatly enhance the combat capabilities of the Smerch systems by using new-generation missiles.

    The Smerch multiple launch rocket system
    © RIA Novosti . Dmitry Korobeinikov
    The Smerch multiple launch rocket system

    The Smerch mobile rocket-launcher vehicle was developed in the early 1980s and put into service by the Soviet Army in 1987.

    Troops load a Tornado multiple launch rocket system during the artillery drill of the 5th Army at Sergeyevsky base, Russia's Primorye Territory
    © Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov
    Troops load a Tornado multiple launch rocket system during the artillery drill of the 5th Army at Sergeyevsky base, Russia's Primorye Territory

    This multiple launch rocket system has 12 tubes for 300-mm rockets; each 7.6-meter-long standard missile weighed about 800 kilograms. It has a firing range of between 20 and 70 kilometers.

    The Tornado-S was introduced as a replacement for the Smerch in 2012; it uses rockets with the same caliber but has been enhanced to take advantage of Russia's proprietary satellite navigation network.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Tornado-S will have a longer range and increased effectiveness thanks to greater accuracy and the use of new warhead payloads. It is capable of launching rockets within just three minutes.

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    Tags:
    rocket systems, combat capabilities, missiles, Tornado-S, Smerch, Russia
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