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Ukraine deploys 6x6 Bastion-2 122mm MLRS against Russian troops



According to a Defense24 article published on August 22, 2023, Ukraine's domestically produced Bastion-2 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), an updated version of the Soviet BM-21 Grad, remains in use by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to engage targets in Russia. It is reported that a total of only six units were manufactured.
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Ukraine deploys 6x6 Bastion-2 122mm MLRS against Russian troops (Picture source: Ukrainian Front/Twitter and Wikimedia)


The Ukrainian counterpart to the Czechoslovak RM-70 (also extensively used in Ukrainian military operations) is currently active with the 63rd Independent Mechanized Brigade. The development aimed to modernize Ukrainian military technology by adapting components from Soviet/Russian origins. The most significant changes were made to the chassis, which was entirely replaced to accommodate a larger firing unit. This design offers increased autonomy compared to versions with shorter chassis, which require ammunition carts for reloading. Presently, specific details remain undisclosed.

The Bastion-2 is an upgraded Ukrainian version of the BM-21 multi-guided rocket launcher, featuring a transition from the Ural-375D to the extended KrAZ 6322 6x6 launcher carrier. Powering the vehicle is the JaMZ-238DE2 engine with 330 hp, enabling speeds over 70 km/h. Armed with 40 122 mm missiles, it has a potential range of up to 40 km (depending on the missile type). Due to the elongated chassis, 40 additional rounds can be loaded alongside the launchers, similar to the Czechoslovak RM-70 configuration. The vehicle incorporates a GPS positioning system developed by the Ukrainian company Orizon-Navigation.

In August 2014, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces received an upgraded version of the BM-21 rocket launcher system known as Bastion-1. The combat capabilities of the Bastion-1 were first demonstrated in 2009, with development starting in 2008.

Both versions 1 and 2 use the KrAZ-6322RA 6x6 truck chassis, differing in length, with the Bastion-1 at 8.5m and the Bastion-2 at 9.32 m. The primary feature of Bastion-2 is its rapid reloading system (RRS), along with the ability to store 40 extra rocket missiles in specially designed open compartments.

A significant characteristic of the Bastion-2 is its automatic reloading mechanism, allowing for rapid firing minutes after reloading. Both Bastion-1 and Bastion-2 include satellite navigation systems, enhancing autonomy during transportation and firing. These enhancements were carried out with the involvement of Orizon-Navigation State Enterprise, a member of Ukroboronprom, known in former Soviet states for GLONASS/GPS transceivers and related systems.

The elongated wheelbase of the Bastion-2 allows for additional ammunition storage, and the combat vehicle is also equipped with two portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS). The Bastion-2 MLRS appears to have the capacity to fire the complete range of rockets from the BM-21, covering distances from 5 to 20.5 km.


 

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