New live fire test of Vilkha-M long range missile system in Ukraine

The M (for modernized) version of the Vilkha missile has nearly twice the range of the basic Vilkha currently deployed by the Ukrainian forces, which means 120 km.

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Firing of a Vilkha-M missile (Picture source: UkrOboronProm)

At the occasion of this test, Secretary of National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Thurchynov, reminded that the Vilkha MLRS system, developed by State Kyiv Design Bureau Luch, is made on the basis of the Soviet-era BM-30 Smerch system. It has a range of 70km.

The multiple launch rocket system was test-fired several times in 2018, while the recent tests were conducted at a military training ground in the Odessa region of Ukraine in August 2019, and now again this April month. The Ukrainian Armed Forces accepted the Vilkha-M system in 2018, while the serial production of the missile complex began in 2019.

Each system is manned by a crew of four and is capable of firing missiles in single or salvo modes. The launch mass of each 300mm Vilkha missile is 800kg. The MLRS is capable of destroying the targets located at a distance of 130km. The system can fire 12 missiles in just 45 seconds and engage the targets with a circular error probability (CEP) of less than 30 meters.

The MLRS is based on the chassis of the KrAZ-7634 8×8 truck. The gross weight of the truck is 32 tons, while its load-carrying capacity is 18.8 tons. The truck is powered by a YaMZ-7511.10 turbocharged diesel engine coupled to a nine-speed manual transmission. The engine develops a maximum power output of 420 hp and enables a maximum speed of 100 km/h.